Getting a divorce is often the best resolution for many couples when the relationship is no longer working. If you are in a civil partnership, much like married couples, you will need to go through a legal process if you decide to end the union - however, for same-sex couples, this is known as dissolution.
Here’s all you need to know about the divorce process for civil partnerships.
Grounds for divorce
Before you can apply to dissolve your civil partnership, you must meet certain criteria. Firstly, you must have been in the civil partnership for at least one year - this applies in England in Wales. As the law currently stands, separation for civil partnership is seen as the partnership ‘breaking down irretrievably’ of which you can choose the following ‘facts’:
- Your civil partner has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them (unreasonable behaviour).
- Your civil partner has deserted you for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of the dissolution petition (desertion).
- You have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of the dissolution petition and your civil partner consents to the dissolution.
- You have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years immediately preceding the presentation of the dissolution petition (5 years separation).
If the judge accepts the application, they may grant a Conditional Order and then six weeks after grant the Final Order which officially ends a civil partnership.
What are the implications of divorce or dissolution for children?
When dissolution is granted each partner’s status to a child will remain the same. This includes a step-parent who has acquired parental responsibility but their parental responsibility can, however, be brought to an end by a court order. You should always try and arrange your childcare situation between yourselves wherever possible.
When do you need legal aid?
From April 2014, it is compulsory for couples to have at least attempted mediation as the court expects parties to resolve disputes before going to court. But, this isn’t always possible. If you’re struggling to come to a resolution then it’s best to hire an experienced lawyer who can provide advice and work on your behalf.
ITN is one of London's leading specialist criminal defence and human rights law firms. Our reputation is based on exceptional commitment and expert representation, doing all that we can to fight your case. We specialise in areas such as the dissolution of civil partnerships, business crime, immigration and more. Contact us today for more information about our services.