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 separation.
For ending a same sex relationship, the separation process largely depends on whether you are in a civil partnership or married.
Married couples of the same sex
A same sex divorce is dealt with in the same way as it would be for an opposite sex couple. Please see our divorce page for more information.
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 apply to the court for dissolution. You must have been in a civil partnership for at least one year before you can apply to dissolve it.
If you do not wish to formally bring your civil partnership to an end, you can apply for legal separation, and there is no requirement to wait 12 months before this can be applied for.
It is possible to make a joint application for dissolution if you both agree that the civil partnership should end, or you can make an application individually. You should make a sole application if your partner is against ending the civil partnership, or you are concerned that they will not engage with the dissolution process. Don’t worry if you have already submitted a joint application and your partner stops responding, as it is possible to convert a joint application to a sole application if necessary.
The dissolution process is very similar to the divorce process and adopts a ‘no-fault’ system. This means that you are not required to provide reasons why the relationship has broken down, and you simply need to state in your application (using form D8) that the civil partnership has irretrievably broken down. The court fee for submitting the application is currently £593, and this is payable direct to HM Courts & Tribunal Service.
After submitting the application, the applicant (or applicants if a joint application) must wait a period of 20 weeks from the date the court issue the application before they can apply for a conditional order, being the first order in the dissolution process. Unlike with a divorce, if your partner does not agree to the dissolution of your civil partnership, you will be required to attend a hearing at court where a judge will decide whether a conditional order should be granted.
Once the conditional order has been granted, you should try to agree the arrangements in respect of your finances and the arrangements for any children. In respect of finances, an agreement should be reached and recorded in a consent order, which is then approved by the court prior to the final order in the dissolution process being applied for.
You must wait a minimum of 6 weeks and one day from date of the conditional order before you can apply for a final order, which is the last stage in the process and officially ends your civil partnership. You may wish to delay applying for the final order if financial arrangements have not yet been resolved, but you should be aware that your civil partner can apply for a final order themselves once 3 months (plus the 6 weeks and one day you were required to wait) have passed since the date of the conditional order.
Once the court receive the application for a final order and check that there are no reasons why the civil partnership cannot be brought to an end, they will send you and your partner the order which will officially end your civil partnership.
Same sex separation process
Legally ending your civil partnership or same sex marriage does not sever your financial ties to one another, and you will need to make an application to the court if you want a legally binding agreement over what will happen with your assets.
The court has power to make orders in respect of your finances including orders for maintenance, lump sums, transfers of property and pension provision.
At SAS Daniels we can help you with a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. We can also assist with issues in respect of financial matters and child arrangements.
For more information, please get in touch with a member of our team.
Job Title: Partner
Phone: 0161 475 7622
Job Title: Partner
Phone: 01244 305926
Job Title: Partner
Phone: 01625 442123
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Phone: 01260 282314