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How to end a Civil Partnership: A Family Solicitor's Advice

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How to end a Civil Partnership: A Family Solicitors Advice

Civil partnership dissolution is the legal way to bring an end to a civil partnership. Although the process is similar to divorce, there are some key differences you should know.

In his latest article, Family Partner Andy Stynes outlines the grounds for civil partnership dissolution, the costs involved, how assets are divided and more.

How do you legally end a civil partnership?

Just like a divorce, you can apply to legally bring an end to your civil partnership through a dissolution if you’ve been in the partnership for at least one year. This can be done through an application to court.

If you haven’t been in the partnership for a year yet you wish to still separate, you can get a legal separation from your partner.

This can also be an option if you want a short-term solution, rather than a permanent one, or if you oppose divorce/dissolution on religious grounds.

This article will primarily focus on civil partnership dissolution, rather than legal separation.

Does no-fault divorce apply to civil partnership?

No-fault divorce is a divorce which doesn’t require either party to give evidence of the other party’s wrongdoing – essentially a divorce without blame.

No-fault divorce was introduced in April 2022, and the same rules apply to civil partnership dissolution.

Prior to its introduction, getting a dissolution was trickier as it required one party to provide evidence of conduct or separation facts against the other. The new process is much simpler.

What are the grounds for dissolving a civil partnership?

Although you no longer need to blame one another, dissolution still requires one party, or both, to provide a statement that the civil partnership has ‘irretrievably broken down’.

This statement is provided as part of the application process and means that, in your or your partner’s eyes, the civil partnership has ended and is irreparable.

When applying for a dissolution, you do not need to explain why the partnership has broken down and don’t need your partner’s consent to apply.

Can a civil partnership dissolution be contested?

Since the changes in April 2022, a civil partnership dissolution can no longer be contested by either partner.

A key reason for this is to prevent domestic abusers from exercising control over their victim.

Following these changes, the dissolution can only be disputed on Jurisdictional grounds, on the validity of the civil partnership or fraud and/or procedural compliance.

How much does dissolution of a civil partnership cost?

An application for civil partnership dissolution costs £593 to lodge.

The partner who applies for the dissolution will be the one responsible for paying this cost, however the fee can be split between you and your partner if you are applying together.

There may also be additional costs involved, for example if you instruct a solicitor to assist you with the process. Anyone who instructs a solicitor is responsible for those solicitor costs. Read about the other costs involved here.

In limited circumstances, a costs order may be granted by the Court which orders the respondent to pay some or all of the applicant’s dissolution costs. Find out more here.

How are assets divided on dissolution of a civil partnership?

A civil partnership gives a couple the same rights that they would have in a marriage, so the rules on asset distribution are broadly similar.

All joint and individual assets and income may be divided in dissolution, depending on what the Court rules.

For more tailored advice on how your assets might be split, you should speak to a family lawyer. You can get in touch with our team on 01202 499255 for a free initial chat.

Read the rules for pensions in divorce and dissolution here.

How long does it take to dissolve a civil partnership UK?

A civil partnership dissolution should take roughly 6 months to complete from application to final order.

However, this timespan can be significantly increased if additional factors are at play. For example, if your partner takes a long time to respond or if the Court is dealing with a backlog.

Issues arising over children and finances may also slow the process, especially if one part seeks a child arrangements or financial order.

Get a more detailed look at the process here.

How do I file for dissolution UK?

You can apply for dissolution online using the Government’s dedicated portal, as long as you meet the correct criteria and pay the required application fee.

As we mentioned briefly earlier, civil partnership dissolution can also be applied for jointly which would involve your partner in the process. If possible, this is the preferable option as it allows for a smoother process and costs to be shared.

Find out more about joint dissolution here.

At Frettens, our bright Family Team can help you in your application for dissolution to ensure that you are well represented in your application form. You can get in touch with our team at the bottom of this article.

Do you need a new Will after civil partnership?

We would highly recommend creating or updating your Will after entering into or dissolving a civil partnership.

In fact, we’d recommend doing so after any major ‘life event’.

This way, you can ensure that your best wishes are reflected in your Will. For example, after buying a house you’d want to include it within your Will in case the unexpected happens.

In the same way, you may wish to exclude your ex-partner from your Will and/or include someone else.

Find out more about updating your Will here, or read the dangers of not having a Will here.

Do I need a solicitor to dissolve my civil partnership?

Although not a requirement, we would recommend instructing an experienced solicitor to assist you in the dissolution process. This way, everything will be handled for you by a professional and you’ll receive advice throughout.

In addition, having a solicitor on hand is crucial as they can represent you in dispute resolution if arguments arise and can assist you in attaining a court order (this can’t be done without a lawyer).

You can get in touch with our specialist family team below, or read our reviews here.

Bright Family Solicitors

Our experienced team of bright Family Solicitors can assist you in applying to dissolve your civil partnership, or with any other divorce, child or financial issue.

Or if you would just like to speak to someone and ask us some questions, we’d be happy to speak to you.

You can call us on 01202 499255 or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free initial chat.

The content of this article, blog or video is not intended as specific legal advice. For tailored assistance, please contact a member of our team.