The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into operation on the 5 December 2005. The Act increases the rights of same-sex partners and removes discrimination against them. Same-sex partners can now obtain legal recognition of their relationship by registering as civil partners.
On the 15th March 2019 the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill completed its passage through the Houses of Parliament. The Bill received Royal Assent on 26th March 2019 and came into force on 26th May 2019.
From the 2nd December 2019, mixed-sex couples can give notice (28 days) for a civil partnership in England and Wales. In exceptional circumstances the 28 day period can be waived.
From New Year’s Eve 2019, mixed-sex couples can register their partnership officially.
We regard to Northern Ireland, mixed-sex civil partnerships will be able to take place from the 13th January 2020. The only area that mixed-sex civil partnerships are not currently being introduced is in Scotland, but civil partnerships entered into elsewhere will be recognised as ‘marriage’ for legal purposes.
Other legislation and regulations have been amended to reflect the change in the law affording same sex civil partners virtually the same rights as married couples. This means provision is now made in law to deal with relationship breakdown as well as other areas such finances, children and domestic violence.
This is an area of family law that is undergoing rapid and, at times, dramatic changes in terms of how the law is developing and where case law brings about changes to existing statutes. At rhw we watch developments at a national and micro level closely and adjust our legal approach accordingly.
If you need more information on civil partnerships see also our article on Wills & The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and our blog on mixed sex civil partnership at https://www.rhw.co.uk/family-law/civil-partnership/