Civil partnerships to be extended for heterosexual couples

Civil partnerships to be extended for heterosexual couples

The government has published a paper setting out how it intends to implement opposite-sex civil partnerships by the end of this year. It details how, wherever appropriate, the government plans to extend existing rights that apply to same-sex civil partners or opposite-sex married couples to opposite-sex civil partners. The changes to the law extending civil partnerships and the associated rights and benefits to opposite-sex civil partners will be set out in regulations which will need to be debated in both Houses of Parliament before they can come into force. The government has not therefore committed to a specific date for the implementation.

Some have said that not having a date can be frustrating for couples, with campaigner Martin Loat, from the Equal Civil Partnerships Campaign urging the government to act quickly.

While civil partnerships award essentially the same rights to couples as marriage, there are a few notable differences between the two arrangements. Civil partnerships cannot be formed in a religious ceremony and, while marriages are formed on the giving and receiving of vows, civil partnerships are formed by signing the civil partnership document. The way such partnerships are ended is also different even though the procedure is fundamentally the same. For married couples seeking to end their relationship, they divorce, but civil partnerships end by dissolution. Adultery is also only a ground for divorce or dissolution when it is committed with a person of the opposite sex.

If you are considering entering into a civil partnership, or ending your partnership by dissolution, our experienced team at Brachers can advise you accordingly. Please contact us on 01622 690691 to book an appointment.