Civil Partnership Dissolution

Here at J W Hughes Solicitors we understand that ending a civil partnership can be an extremely stressful and emotional time, just like a divorce. It is often the case that same sex couples are unsure of their rights and what to expect when their relationship breaks down.

Often clients do not realise that there are legal processes to follow when applying for dissolution of a civil partnership, which are similar to that of a divorce.  The Courts require grounds for the separation, such as unreasonable behaviour, desertion, living separately for more than two years, living separately for more than 5 years.

If one of these grounds is determined a 'Dissolution Petition' form should be completed and sent to court with an application fee. Upon receipt the court will send a copy to your partner, and will ask your partner to complete a form called an 'Acknowledgement of Service' which your partner will need to return within a timeframe. The Court will also notify you by sending you a document called 'Notice of Issue of Petition' this informs you of the date that they have sent the forms to your partner.

Receiving a Dissolution Petition

You may have received a Dissolution Petition form and this will mean that your partner has started the process of a civil separation. If you require independent advice then J W Hughes is able to assist you in completing the ‘Acknowledgement of Service’ form and guide you on whether you agree or contest the petition. By agreeing you will be accepting the grounds for separation and the dissolution process will begin.

If you disagree and wish to contest the grounds it is important that you seek our advice on the best way to do this; give us a call for a free initial consultation where we can discuss your options.

The Court will also require you to have completed two other forms called an ‘Application for a Conditional Order’ and a ‘Statement in support of the petition’. Our specialist family solicitors will be happy to help you with completing those forms.

How to get a Final Order to Dissolve your Partnership

It is not possible to apply for a final order unless you have already received a ‘Conditional Order’ from the Court. The Conditional order means that the Court finds no reason why it cannot dissolve the civil partnership.

To bring finality to the partnership it will be necessary to complete a form entitled ‘Notice of application for conditional order to be made final’.  On receipt of this application the court will check the information provided and if the Court is satisfied it will send you and your civil partner a final order document. This document entitled ‘Final Order’ will mean that your partnership has legally ended.

It is important to retain a copy of the Order in a safe place in case you may need it in the future. If this document was to be misplaced the Court will charge a small fee for a further copy.