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If you are thinking of forming a Civil Partnership, would like to find out more about the tax implications, or the legalities of ending a Civil Partnership, our expert Family lawyers will be able to advise, and help prepare you for the legal proceedings which result in the best outcome for you.
Below you will find more information on Civil Partnerships; however we would recommend getting one of our experts on board from an early stage for a fixed fee initial appointment, which is provided at £195.00 plus VAT, to ensure you get the outcome you need, at the cost that’s right for you. Full details are on our Powells Pay As You Go – Help with Family Matters page.
Advice on Forming a Civil Partnership – Legal Advice for Gay Men and Lesbians
The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on 5th December 2005. From that date, two Partners of the same sex had the right to register for a Civil Partnership and become “civil partners”.
The Advantages of a Civil Partnership
Civil Partners will be treated for Tax purposes in the same way as a married couple. The main advantage of this is that upon death, any property or money passing between Civil Partners is free from inheritance tax. Be aware that the forming of a Civil Partnership automatically voids any Will you may have made previously. Even if your present Will leaves all property to each other, this will not be valid if a new Will is not made. Civil Partners who have not made Wills are treated in accordance with the rules on intestacy.
The rules on Pensions will be amended to give rights to Civil Partners. Any benefits available for a husband and wife for a state pension will apply to a Civil Partner. Similar provisions will apply for private pension schemes.
How are civil partnerships ended?
Unfortunately, some Civil Partnerships will fall apart. The Partnership will have to be formally dissolved through the Courts. This is known as a “Civil Partnership Dissolution”. Civil Partnerships are ended in a very similar way to the ending of a marriage.
Financial provision on dissolution
As Civil Partners are entitled to equality, on dissolution, the Court will treat the Civil Partnership in the same way as if they were dealing with a marriage; this means that the Court can order payment of maintenance, lump sums, property adjustment, sale of property and pension sharing.
Consider a Pre-Partnership Agreement?
An agreement drawn between Partners which attempts to deal with the division of finances if the relationship breaks down is on the face of it void. However, the Courts have recently started to give consideration to such agreements. It is worthwhile considering taking advice on entering into an agreement as it may be taken into account in the future, even though there is no guarantee of this. The Courts may be more likely to consider the basis of such an agreement if the Civil Partnership was relatively short.