We want to help you understand your options and fight for your choices.

Whether your goal is to convert a civil partnership into a marriage, dissolve a civil partnership, or you simply need advice on child matters, we can help. By ensuring that our clients are equipped with the best expert advice, effective resources and attentive care that a family lawyer can provide, we help them make informed decisions about their future.

We are able to advise you on different aspects of civil partnership dissolutions, such as:

  • Converting a civil partnership into a marriage
  • Child matters
  • Adoption

Frequently asked questions

Civil partnerships are ended using the same process as a divorce. The main difference is that the term for the first is dissolution.

Same-sex marriages are subject to the same process as an opposite-sex divorce. The only exception is that adultery cannot be used as one of the grounds upon which divorce should be based. Nevertheless, if a party believes that their partner has had intercourse with a third party, this could constitute behaviour causing the breakdown of the relationship, which can be considered as a ground for dissolution.

In order to undergo a dissolution, three facts must be present:

  • Parties have been partners for a minimum of a year
  • The court has the jurisdiction to order the dissolution of the civil partnership based on the habitual residence or domicile of the parties (this is where most daily life tasks are conducted)
  • There has been an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship.

If you are considering getting a dissolution or a divorce within the first year of partnership or marriage, you might be entitled to apply for a decree of judicial separation or, in rarer cases, a decree of nullity.

In some cases, even if most daily life tasks are not being conducted in England and Wales, parties may still be allowed to divorce here. In order to know if this exception applies to you, we would recommend contacting one of our solicitors.

A dissolution or divorce can be sought when one of the following is present:

  • Unreasonable behaviour (that which causes the marriage to break down)
  • Desertion
  • Two years’ separation with the consent of the other party
  • Five years’ separation without consent

Once one of these facts has been established, irretrievable breakdown may be presumed. There is always the possibility that any of these could be challenged by the other partner, leading the case to potentially go to court, however this tends to be a rare occurrence.

Yes, couples in a civil partnership are able to convert their union into a marriage in England and Wales. It is advisable for couples to do so as not only will this allow homosexual couples the same marital status as heterosexual ones, but it will also strengthen your legal rights as a couple internationally.

If you are unsure of what a conversion means legally or need help filling out the documents required, Grayfords solicitors can assist you on every step of the way.

Family is at the core of everything we do here at Grayfords. As specialists in child matters, we are able to advise you on the Adoption and Children Act of 2002, which was revised to include same-sex couples and single people. Whether you are just looking into adoption or have already started the process, our expert team can advise you on your legal rights and help you prepare any required documentation.

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