Same sex separation

If you are in a same sex relationship and you feel that the relationship has come to an end, there are various options available to you for same sex separation.

For ending a same sex relationship, the separation process largely depends on whether you are in a civil partnership or married.


Couples in a civil partnership

If you are in a civil partnership and want to bring your relationship to an end you will need to get permission from the court who can either move forward with a Separation Order (if the civil partnership has lasted less than 12 months) or a Dissolution Order.

The dissolution process is similar to the process for a married couple in that you must prove to the court that the civil partnership has broken down irretrievably on one of the following facts:

  1. The respondent’s unreasonable behaviour.
  2. 2 years’ separation with the respondent’s consent.
  3. Five years’ separation.
  4. Desertion by the respondent for a period in excess of 2 years.

It is important to note that the fact of adultery is not available to you if you are dissolving a civil partnership.


Married couples of the same sex

A same sex divorce is dealt with the same way as it would be for a heterosexual couple with a divorce petition.

A divorce can only be granted in the UK if the court is satisfied that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and there is no chance of reconciliation. For same sex divorces, this can be proven by one of four facts:

  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion over two years
  • Two years’ separation and each party consents
  • Five years’ separation

The main difference for same sex divorces as opposed to heterosexual divorces is that adultery cannot be used in a same sex divorce. This is due to the current law defining adultery as when ‘your husband or wife has had sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex’.

Therefore, unless your partner has entered into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, adultery cannot be cited as the reason for divorce. Until the law catches up, any form of infidelity would have to be cited as unreasonable behaviour.


Same sex separation process

In a same sex marriage and a civil partnership the parties have the same rights to make an application for financial provision. The court has power to make an order for maintenance, lump sum, transfer of property and pension provision.

At SAS Daniels we can help you with either a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership and financial matters. We can also assist with child arrangements for both gay and lesbian parents.

For more information, please get in touch with a member of our team.