Civil Partnership Dissolution Solicitors in Manchester & Stockport
Civil partnerships were introduced in 2005, and they gave same sex couples almost the same legal rights as married couples. If your relationship has irretrievably broken down, the process of ending a civil partnership is very similar to the process of ending a marriage. Clifford Johnston & Co have years of experience in helping clients through civil partnership dissolutions. The breakdown of any relationship can be painful, but we’re here to make sure that the legal process is one less thing to worry about.
Why choose Clifford Johnston & C0?
We completely understand the emotional toll that ending a relationship can take. We’re here to help you to reach a fair and amicable agreement as efficiently as possible. Our expert team of solicitors are specialists in dealing with the dissolution of civil partnership in England & Wales, with a wealth of knowledge and experience of successfully handling petitions for the dissolution of civil partnerships.
Contact us today - our friendly advisors will deal with your enquiry with sensitivity and compassion, offering you practical and supportive advice.
How do I end a civil partnership?
The first step towards ending a civil partnership is the application for a dissolution order, or conditional order. One partner needs to apply to the court requesting the dissolution, proving that the relationship has broken down, and an agreement should be reached to decide how practical and financial issues will be dealt with. Ending a civil partnership can be relatively straightforward if both parties can agree to the process and the practicalities – but where this isn’t possible, the process will take longer and require guidance from a legal expert.
When can I end a civil partnership?
It isn’t legally possible to dissolve a civil partnership within the first 12 months. You may apply for a separation order in this time, which the court will usually grant if you can prove that your partner has behaved unreasonably. Once granted, you cannot legally enter into another civil partnership or marriage until your partnership is legally dissolved. After 12 months you can apply for a dissolution order.
Grounds for a dissolution
As with a divorce, ending a civil partnership needs the petitioner to demonstrate that the relationship has broken down irrevocably. There are four main reasons that constitute grounds for a dissolution:
1. Unreasonable behaviour
This is the most common reason cited in a dissolution and occurs when you feel that your partner’s behaviour makes it impossible for you to live with them any longer.
Examples of this include:
- Abuse or cruelty, either physical or emotional
- Being irresponsible with money.
2. Two years’ separation
If you have lived apart or been separated from your partner for two years, this can be grounds to dissolve the partnership. The separation needs to have been continuous, and both parties need to consent to the dissolution. Legally, you can live in the same house as your partner, but still be separated.
3. Five years’ separation
If both parties do not agree to the dissolution, you will have to wait for five years of separation to elapse. As above, the period of separation needs to have been continuous.
If you partner deserts you, after two years you can end the partnership without their consent being necessary. Desertion occurs when your partner leaves you:
- without a good reason
- without your agreement
- for the purpose of ending your relationship.
- Your partner needs to have been gone for more than two years out of the past 30 months.
Getting the final order
After obtaining a conditional order, you need to wait six weeks before applying for a final order. If it was your partner who applied for a conditional order, you will need to wait three months and six weeks after the date of the conditional order. It is important to apply within 12 months of getting the conditional order, or the delay may need to be explained to the court. Once the court is happy that all the information has been provided, it will send both partners a final order, which means that your civil partnership is over. Both parties are then free to marry or enter into another civil partnership.
Annulment of a civil partnership
It may be possible to have a civil partnership annulled if it can be proven not to have been legal in the first place. To be legal, a partnership must meet certain conditions; for example both partners must be over 16, not already married or in a partnership, and not under any kind of coercion.
If you want to apply for an annulment, this usually must be done within three years of registering your civil partnership. If the court grants an annulment, it will say that your civil partnership is either void or voidable depending on the circumstances. If you are considering getting your civil partnership annulled, you will need legal advice. Contact our specialist team for efficient, friendly and reliable services for your annulment petition.
Settling practical matters
When civil partners separate, as with divorcing couples, they will need to reach an agreement on a range of practical issues, including the dividing of assets. Civil partners have similar financial rights to married couples following a spilt, and have a right to claim maintenance, a share in any property and pension rights. There may also be arrangements concerning access or living arrangements for any children of the partnership to be considered.
When a relationship breaks down amicably and both parties can agree, a consent order can be drawn up, which sets out in legally binding terms how finances and assets are to be dealt with. Where such an agreement cannot be mutually reached, it may be necessary to seek intervention from the courts to help you to find a fair and reasonable solution. In either case, you will need the help of an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the options available to you under the circumstances, taking into account the length of the relationship and any assets, income and pension provisions. Whatever your situation, one of our family law solicitors can help you to reach and record a legally binding agreement.
At Clifford Johnston & Co. we are renowned for working to the highest of legal standards and pride ourselves on delivering a professional, affordable service to clients right across Stockport and Manchester.
For clear, confidential and expert advice about ending civil partnership agreements contact us today on 0161 975 1900 or use the online enquiry form above.
Our Civil Partnership Dissolution Solicitors in Stockport (Heaton Moor) & Manchester (Burnage) are easily accessible. We represent clients on all family law matters not only locally and throughout Stockport, Cheshire, Lancashire & Manchester but also across the United Kingdom. You can count on us to help and guide you whatever your challenge or circumstance.