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Civil Partnerships

The Civil Partnership Act 2004

In December 2005, legislation came into force which creates the right of same-sex couples to enter into a civil relationship which is akin to marriage. The effect of the legislation is that it gives same-sex couples, who register their civil partnership under the Act, many of the same rights that are enjoyed by married couples.

They include:

  • Recognition under the rules of Intestacy.
  • The ability of one partner to insure the other against death.
  • Protection from domestic violence.
  • The financial remedies on dissolution of the partnership, that are currently available to couples who divorce. This gives the courts the power, for example, to make maintenance, property adjustment, lump sums, and pension sharing orders.

There are other provisions that deal with the assessment of child maintenance, immigration and nationality, employment and pension benefits on death and fatal accident compensation. Upon entering a civil relationship a pre-existing will becomes void and a new one will need to be made.

So, those couples who register their partnerships under the Act will, in many respects, have the same rights, privileges and legal redress, as do married couples.

As with heterosexual couples who live together without being married, the myth of the common law man and wife will arise if a same-sex couple does not register their relationship. This means that the key features referred to above will not be available.

For more detail of the effect of the dissolution of a civil partnership, please refer to the relevant sections on divorce and financial matters, e.g. divorce - who keeps the house?, divorce and pensionsproperty rights and divorce and separation costs. For information about the consequences of living with a partner without civil registration please see our section on cohabitation.

We offer free initial advice on the topics that surround a Civil Partnership. Topics you may need advice on are:

  • Benefits of a Civil Partnership Agreement
  • Advice on tax and inheritance issues/ making a new Will
  • Change of name deed
  • Pre-nuptial agreements

For more information please call Alistair Dobson on 01858 445480 or email

Please note this will be kept in strictest confidence and is required solely to ensure we do not have a conflict of interest according to SRA regulations. The party WILL NOT be contacted by Lawson-West.