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The Civil Partnership Act 2004 granted a same sex couple the right to register themselves as Civil partners. This gave rights and responsibilities in line with married couples. Couples who registered a civil partnership in England and Wales have been able to convert this to marriage since 10th December 2014. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 became law on 17th July 2013 and the first same sex marriages took place on Saturday 29th March 2014.

Sadly, relationships break down and when they do you may wish to end the civil partnership or marriage. The partner (husband/wife or civil partner) must follow a legal process to bring the marriage or civil partnership to an end on the grounds that the relationship has irretrievably broken down. The legal facts that can be given are as follows:

  • Adultery (only available for divorce)
  • Unreasonable behaviour – this can include having sexual relations with someone else regardless of gender
  • Two years separation with consent
  • Five years separation
  • Two years desertion
Civil Partnership and Marriage Law

If you are entitled to a divorce (same sex marriage) or dissolution (civil partnership) then the Court will set a date for a Conditional Order to be pronounced, which is the first order of divorce or dissolution.

Six weeks and one day after the Conditional Order you can apply for the Final Order.  The Final Order brings your marriage or civil partnership to an end.

There are issues to consider within the process and there can be issues which can delay or complicate the process.  Please do contact us if you would like any further information specific to your circumstances.


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