Dissolution is the legal process that brings a civil partnership to an end. Unless one civil partner defends the proceedings, it can be done entirely on paper – you will not be required to attend court at all in most cases.
The dissolution process is separate from considerations of what to do with your money or property, or what arrangements should be made for your children, if you have any.
The legal framework requires that one civil partner must ‘petition’ for dissolution against the other, even if both of you have agreed to dissolve your civil partnership. The court will grant the dissolution if it is satisfied that the applicant has proved the civil partnership has irretrievably broken down. This can be proved by reference to the other civil partner’s behaviour or desertion, or if you have lived separately for two years and your civil partner consents, or if you have lived separately for five years.
If necessary, the terms of a civil partnership dissolution can be discussed in mediation, in the collaborative law process, or using traditional solicitor-to-solicitor negotiation techniques.
In 2014, gay marriage finally became legal in England and Wales. Civil partnerships may now be converted into marriages. Those who do marry will be able to divorce after a year, should they wish.
Please download our information sheet if you would like more details about what is involved in civil partnership dissolution. Alternatively, you can call Gail, Kathryn, Adam, Simon, Tricia or Jeremy on 01223 443333 for a confidential initial discussion.