News and Events

Converting Civil Partnerships to Marriage

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The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force in December 2014 allowing couples in a civil partnership to get married. The most high profile of these marriages being Elton John and his partner David Furnish.

How do you go about it?

There are two ways to convert a civil partnership into a marriage, providing it has been registered in England or Wales or abroad in a consulate:-

  1. There is a simple administrative process called a ‘standard conversion’; or
  2. A two stage process where the conversion is followed by a ceremony

Standard Conversion

The couple attend by appointment at a register office and complete a declaration with details about each partner and their civil partnership. Documents will need to be produced which include:-

  • Evidence of the parties’ names and dates of birth – current passports or birth certificates
  • Evidence of address – utility bill or council tax bill
  • The original civil partnership certificate

Conversion & Ceremony

This is a two stage process:-

  1. The first is the same as a standard conversion and the parties must produce the same documents as set out above.
  2. The second is the signing of the declaration which may be followed by a ceremony. This can take place at any venue where same sex couples are able to marry. These may be:-
  • A register office
  • Approved premises
  • Religious buildings that are registered for the marriage of same sex couples
  • Premises where a ceremony according to a faith (e.g. – Jewish, Society of Friends) is to immediately follow the conversion

Following the ceremony your marriage is registered and a marriage certificate can then be issued.

We have offices in the Christchurch, New Milton and the New Forest. Our Family team also cover Bournemouth and Poole. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Heidi or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.