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How to end a civil partnership

Monday, 30 January 2017

AdobeStock_109430181Divorce is one of the hardest and most upsetting experiences that can happen in our lives. Yet, one in three marriages in the UK is now said to end in a divorce.

For those of us in a civil partnership, we can also encounter severe problems that unfortunately can’t be resolved and require an end to our relationships. While the ending of a civil partnership is not technically called a divorce, how it happens is very similar. Here we will explain the exact steps that need to be taken.

Dissolving a civil partnership

In order for a civil partnership to come to end, or be ‘dissolved’ as it is technically called, you must be able to demonstrate to the court that your relationship has irretrievably broken down. The grounds for ending a civil partnership are almost entirely the same as that of marriage, except that adultery is omitted.

The first ground for dissolving a civil partnership is that of unreasonable behavior. This is when you feel that your partner is demonstrating behaviors that make your position so untenable that you can no longer live with them. This could be because your partner has drug or alcohol dependency, they may be physically, verbally or emotionally abusive, there may be issues of sexual infidelity or they may be financially irresponsible in an excessive way.

The second ground for dissolving a civil partnership involves desertion. This is when your partner has left you for at least two years without your approval and without explaining their reasons for absence. If you have lived apart for two years then this can also be used as a reason for dissolving the partnership. However, your spouse must approve to ending the partnership.

If your partner has left you and you have lived apart for a period of five years or longer, then this can also be used as grounds for dissolving your partnership and can be done so without your spouse’s consent.

Seeking legal help to end your partnership

In order to legally put an end to your partnership, we advise you to seek counsel from an experienced family law solicitor who will be able to guide you through the process of filing to dissolve your partnership. The first step is to apply for a conditional order which explains to the court the reasons for filing to dissolve the partnership. The court will then serve notice of the application to your spouse who must respond, either accepting the filing or contesting it. If the spouse accepts then you can move on to an application for a final order which officially ends the partnership. However, if your spouse contests, the case will have to go to court.

Here at Rollingsons, our team of family lawyers have extensive experience with civil partnerships and same sex marriages. We offer a friendly approach, answering any questions you have and identifying objectives, offering you a clear path to move forward. To arrange an initial consultation with one of our team, please call us today on 0207 7611 4848.

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