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Same Sex Marriage & Civil Partnerships

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Same Sex Marriage & Civil Partnerships

Same sex couples are currently able to choose between registering their relationship formally as a civil partnership under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, or entering into a Marriage under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.  

The effect of entering into a civil partnership with your partner is virtually the same position as a married spouse. You have a similar position on tax, state benefits, pensions, inheritance, and immigration. Children born of either partner are treated as children of your family and the non-biological parent’s relationship to the children is recognised in rights and responsibilities. Civil Partners also have the same responsibilities as a married couple, which includes a duty to provide reasonable maintenance for your civil partner and any children of the family. You'll be assessed in the same way as spouses for child support. A Civil Partnership can be brought to an end by way of a dissolution no less than one year after its formation. 

A same sex marriage is no different from any other marriage: the process of bringing it to an end legally is by way of divorce no less than a year after the date of marriage. The rights and obligations of a married same sex couple are exactly the same as those of a married non-same sex couple: the same law applies with respect to finances, pensions, inheritance etc.

Legal advice is not of course necessary before entering into either a marriage or a civil partnership but it can however be really advisable. Whilst none of us wants to think at the outset that a relationship may not last, the fact is that putting in place clear documentation to set out what will happen and who will retain what if it does, can save an enormous amount of money, time and pain later on. We can advise on pre- and post-nuptial agreements and pre-Civil Partnership agreements, and can talk through with you how best you can raise the delicate issue with your partner.

If your Civil Partnership or marriage has irretrievably broken down, our expert team of lawyers can help you with all of the legal aspects of doing so. We can offer family mediation or a variety of other options to finalise matters and reach agreement, or obtain a court order. We have an excellent track record of securing excellent outcomes for our clients and all of our lawyers subscribe to the Resolution Code of Practice designed to really help our clients to resolve and move on from the breakdown of their relationship in the best possible shape,

For a no-obligation preliminary chat or an appointment to meet with one of our specialist lawyers please call us on 01865 594265 or email family@hedgeslaw.co.uk.