As from December 2019, civil partnership became available to opposite sex couples. Those in a civil partnership benefit from the same rights as married couples in terms of tax benefits, pensions and inheritance.

However, unlike a conventional marriage, there are no religious connotations attached to civil partnerships, making them a desirable option for those who want to legally recognise their relationship but don’t align themselves with a particular religion.

There are two steps needed to register a civil partnership. The first step is to give notice of your intention to register and the second is to actually register the civil partnership.

Both partners will each need to give notice of their intention to register a civil partnership to the local register office where they live. This must be done in person and it is necessary to register the civil partnership where notice was given. You must have lived in an area for at least seven days before you can give notice there.

You must get married or form a civil partnership within 12 months of giving notice.

After you register, you can get a marriage or civil partnership certificate. It costs £11.

The civil partnership ceremony takes place in front of a registrar as opposed to a recognised religious leader, such as a vicar.

The civil partnership ceremony itself does not involve an exchange of vows or the singing of hymns as a conventional wedding might. Instead, the union is simply valid after both parties sign the civil partnership document.

When it comes to ending a civil partnership, the dissolution process is similar to marriage except that adultery cannot be used as reason.

Talk to us if you need further information.