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Do you divorce your spouse to end a civil partnership?

This month, Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to open up civil partnerships so that straight couples who want to formalise their relationship but don’t agree with marriage have the same choices available to their gay counterparts. Though there has been no official date for the plans announced yet, Penny Mordaunt, equalities minister, said the change in the law would happen “as swiftly as possible” and many are already planning their upcoming nuptials.

Has the law changed?

As civil partnerships open up to straight couples, and marriages are an option for gay couples, there has been growing confusion over how to separate from the different unions. Thankfully, though, both processes are broadly similar and follow the same basic route. Applying for your divorce or dissolution requires you to state your grounds for it, choosing from unreasonable behaviour, desertion, or separation of two or five years. This is the only way in which the process differs, as straight couples can cite adultery as their grounds for divorce where gay couples cannot.

Grounds for divorce are the only real difference

Unfortunately, the law has not quite caught up with itself and there remains a loophole in that for someone to have committed adultery, they must have had penetrative intercourse with a member of the opposite sex. As a result, if one party had a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex, this will not be viewed as adultery by the courts and the dissolution application will be unable to proceed. You can, however, cite the cheating as unreasonable behaviour and still use it as your grounds for dissolution that way.

After this, your partner responds as with a divorce and you will be given a conditional order that you can file to turn into a final order after a set period of time. This is six months if you filed for dissolution, or three months and six weeks if your partner did. Following the application being filled in and sent off with £45 for your financial order, you will be granted your final order and your civil partnership will be ended with you free to marry again if you so wish.

Do you offer dissolutions?

Of course! Our service is available for divorces or dissolutions of civil partnerships, and we offer a range of packages to suit all needs.


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