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Civil Partnership Dissolution

Civil partnership is a regime of registered partnership for same-sex couples with most of the rights, responsibilities and other consequences of marriage. It is covered by the Civil Partnership Act 2004, which came into operation on the 5th December 2005.

When civil partners separate the breakdown can be very distressing. The parties have to try to resolve their finances and some couples will require help and assistance to do so. Our experienced team of civil partnership solicitors here at Howells have advised and assisted clients to conclude matters. If a civil partnership breaks down we encourage the parties to discuss matters directly or attend mediation. We can also negotiate with the former partner’s solicitors in an effort to come to an agreement. If this fails, one or other of the partners will have to make an application to the court.

The End of Civil Partnerships

  • A civil partnership can only be brought to an end by death, annulment or dissolution;
  • If a civil partnership breaks down one of the parties has to apply for the dissolution of the partnership;
  • You cannot file a petition for dissolution into the court until the civil partnership has been registered for over a year.
As with a divorce, the only ground for civil partnerships to be dissolved is the relationship has broken down irretrievably on the grounds of:
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two years separation with consent
  • Five years separation
A petition is filed by our civil partnership solicitors with the court and served on the partner. The partner has an opportunity to consent or defend the petition. If the petition is not contested the Petitioner applies for a conditional order. Six weeks and a day after the conditional order is pronounced the Petitioner can apply for the final order.

If the partner defends the petition the case comes before a District Judge for a pre-trial review. The case will then be transferred to a Circuit Judge for a hearing. This is a very costly exercise.

Financial Matters in Civil Partnerships

The law governs financial claims between civil partners in essentially the same way as it does for spouses. If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties or through mediation then an application will be made to the court.

If one of the partners in civil partnerships dies the other partner would have the same rights as a spouse under the Inheritance Provision for the Family and Dependant Act.

Our civil partnership solicitors offer a specialist, experienced service and have represented clients in civil partnership disputes, applications for residence and contact as well as financial matters. Call our team of civil partnership solicitors today on 02920 404018 or email

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