A Civil Partnership is a legal union between two people of the same sex. Civil Partnerships were originally introduced in December 2005, 8 years before same-sex marriage become legal in the UK (in 2013). Those in Civil Partnerships have most of the rights, responsibilities and other benefits of married couples. However, there are several differences between the two ways of formalising a relationship:
- Civil Partnerships do not require a ceremony to take place, whereas marriages are established in part through the exchange of vows, whether in a religious or civil ceremony.
- Certificates of Civil Partnerships show the names of both parents – marriage certificates only contain the fathers’ names.
- Civil Partnerships are not recognised across all countries, whereas marriages are. This could make travelling or living abroad complicated.
- Civil Partnerships are currently only available to couples of the same sex. In June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that opposite-sex couples should also be allowed to enter into civil partnerships, but this legislation has not yet been passed.
Aside from these differences, Civil Partnerships are functionally similar to marriages in many ways. For example, where there are children in the family, civil partnerships enable the second partner to apply for parental responsibility; benefit applications will assess both partners; civil partners have next of kin rights and can now benefit from pension rights, inheritance tax provisions etc. in the same way as a married couple.
Since 2014, couples who were already in a civil partnership gained the right to change their union into a marriage through a simple administrative process. This can involve a ceremony but does not need to. The original civil partnership certificate and proof of ID must be provided and there is a standard fee of £4 for the marriage certificate.
For more information on Civil Partnerships contact Dale & Co. today.
Last Updated: Thursday 25th April 2019
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