Family Law Services

Civil Partnership Dissolution

Ending Civil Partnerships

The process of ending a Civil Partnership is termed differently than divorce, it is termed “Dissolution”.

Like married couples civil partners enjoy the same position in relation to pensions, inheritance, taxation, state benefits, and immigration. Any child or children born of either partner to the civil partnership are treated as children of your family and the non-biological parent’s relationship to the children is legally recognised by way of rights and responsibilities.

As is the case with divorce proceedings the dissolution of your civil partnership will need to be approved by the Family Court.

Upon divorce there are 5 facts which you can rely on to Petition for a divorce. The position is slightly different with civil partnership dissolution and there are only four facts which can be relied upon to establish grounds for a dissolution, namely :

1.    Unreasonable behaviour

2.    Two years` separation providing your Civil Partner consents to the dissolution

3.    Five years` separation, without your Civil Partner`s consent

4.    Desertion, for a period of two years or more.

Adultery is not an available ground as it is with a divorce however you can still use the adultery as an example of the other`s unreasonable behaviour.

The Stages of Dissolution

1.   You should first agree the grounds with your civil partner and agree who is to Petition. There is a court fee payable and it is sensible to agree the path forward so that there are no surprises to either party and there is an agreement upon who Petitions, upon what grounds, and who pays the costs.

2.   Once the above has been done the Court will issue the Petition and the respondent shall then be served with the Petition and a document called an Acknowledgment of Service. They must complete this document within 7 days of receipt and return it to the Court.

3.   It is important that you obtain independent legal advice before returning the acknowledgment of service. Once the acknowledgment of service is complete then you can apply for a conditional order which is a document approved by the District Judge approving the grounds for the divorce and that there is no reason why your civil partnership cannot be dissolved.

4.   The final stage of the dissolution is applying for a final order which shall formally end your civil partnership. Again, it is sensible to take independent legal advice prior to doing this especially if you have financial matters to resolve between you and your civil partner.

Costs

We provide fixed fees whether you are the Petitioner or whether you are the Respondent.

Our fixed fee if you are the Petitioner is £595 + Vat.

Included within that fixed fee is :

  • An Initial consultation
  • All correspondence
  • Preparing the dissolution paperwork for the court
  • Receiving the Acknowledgement of Service
  • Preparing the application for a Conditional Order and filing that with the Court.
  • Applying for a Final Order
  • There is also a Court fee payable of £593

If you require initial advice on financial or children matters then we can also provide advice however this would fall outside of the fixed fee.

If you are the respondent then we can also offer you a fixed fee and because there is less work then we charge fixed fees from £295 + Vat for the same.

Included within that fixed fee is :

  • An Initial consultation
  • Advising you and completing the Acknowledgement of Service
  • Receiving confirmation of the date of the Conditional Order
  • Receiving the Conditional Order and then sending it to you with our advice
  • Receiving the Final Dissolution Order and then sending it to you with our advice.

What is not included in the fee?

1.   Any replacement costs for lost civil partnership certificates / licenses.

2.   Any translation of any documents required (if applicable)

3.   Any advice relating to financial matters or children matters

4.   Any particular complexities, for example in the event of a defended matter or one that is protracted or considerably delayed due to one of the parties. If this does occur then we would liaise with you and agree a way forward and advise on any specific costs that would become due.

We are always very happy to have a free no obligation telephone consultation with you about any concerns you have in relation to civil partnerships. It is so vitally important to choose the right way forward for you personally in the event of your civil partnership breaking down.

Our family team includes members of the Family Accreditation scheme and Resolution and all team members undertake robust professional development on a continuing basis.

Please contact us today for a free no obligation telephone discussion.

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