Since December 2005, couples in a same sex partnership have been able to register their relationship through a formal civil ceremony. The Civil Partnership Act is possibly one of the most progressive pieces of social policy legislation and its provisions are wide-reaching.
Civil partnerships solicitors in Basingstoke
Registration ensures partners acquire various rights and responsibilities towards each other, both during the relationship and on separation. Most importantly, registration gives them the legal status previously reserved for married couples; however the legal consequences are significant.
In order to register a civil partnership, you must:
- be of the same sex
- not already be in a civil partnership or marriage
- be over 18 (or 16 with appropriate consent)
- not be within the prohibited degrees of relationship (ie. you are not related)
A civil partnership brings with it these legal rights and responsibilities:
- A duty to provide reasonable maintenance for your civil partner and any children of the family
- The ability to apply for parental responsibility for your civil partner’s child
- The equitable treatment for the purposes of assessment for child support, life assurance, tax (including inheritance tax), employment and pension benefits, inheritance of a tenancy agreement
- Access to fatal accident compensation
- Protection from domestic violence and from discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation
- Recognition for immigration and nationality purposes
- Wills are revoked when you enter a civil partnership and your partner can sue the other's estate if they are not a beneficiary under the Will. If there’s no Will, then the partners benefit in the same way as spouses
Before entering into any legal contract or civil partnership agreement, it makes good sense to take specialist legal advice from a civil partnerhsip solicitor.
Many married couples opt to have a Pre-marital Agreement, setting out agreed terms of what should happen if the marriage breaks down. Whilst not enforceable by the court, any such agreement will be taken into consideration by the court if it is called upon to decide financial or child matters in the event of divorce.
The same applies to civil partnerships and you should consider a Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement.
Phillips solicitors have a dedicated team of experienced family lawyers who can advise on all aspects of family law. All initial telephone enquiries are dealt with by a specialist in the team so that the person best suited to your particular needs is able to help you.
Phillips family solicitors for civil partnerships can be contacted on 01256 460830.