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Civil Partnership Dissolution

Like marriage and divorce, you have to have been in a civil partnership for over a year before you can apply to have it dissolved. You must apply to a Court to do this. You can apply for legal separation during the first year.

How to dissolve a Civil Partnership

If a civil partnership ends, then the partners need to follow a legal process in order to dissolve the civil partnership.

A civil partnership can be dissolved by making an application to the Court, asking for permission to end the relationship. The application for this “dissolution order” can only be done after a year of your civil partnership has passed. As with no-fault divorce, there are no longer any grounds (or facts) that need to be relied on when dissolving a civil partnership. It simply needs to be stated that the partnership has irretrievably broken down.

An application for the dissolution of a civil partnership can be made by one party or jointly. 20 weeks after the application has been made, you can apply for a Conditional Order and a Final Order can be applied for after six weeks and one day have passed from the date of the Conditional Order. It is the Final Order that dissolves the partnership. In reality, the Final Order can sometimes be delayed whilst the couple sort out and finalise the separation of their financial circumstances.

Financial Settlements on dissolution of a civil partnership

While some of the formalities are different, financial disputes arising from the dissolution of a civil partnership apply the same principles as divorce. Both parties need to make ‘full and frank’ disclosure about their financial assets and liabilities. It will be necessary to obtain a valuation for any land or properties owned, whether in one partner’s sole name or in joint names, as well as an up-to-date valuation of pensions. Once all of the information is gathered together, settlement discussions can commence.

Dividing Assets when a civil partnership is dissolved

There is no set formula for how assets are divided when a civil partnership is dissolved, and each case will turn on its own circumstances, but the starting point is equality. Several factors will be taken into account which may shift the division of finances in favour of one partner or the other, for example, the length of the relationship, the standard of living enjoyed, ages and earning potential etc. Like divorce, the housing needs of any children will be assessed and the parent who resides with the children may be entitled to a larger portion of the equity in the family home. Even if an agreement on finances is amicable, it is vitally important that any agreement reached is legally binding to ensure that your finances are protected now and into the future.

How we can help

Sorting out finances after the dissolution of a civil partnership can be complex, and you should take expert legal advice to protect your interests. Sterling de Zuk specialises in financial settlements and can offer legal advice to individuals throughout Cheshire. If your relationship has come to an end, we would encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible so that your financial situation can be assessed thoroughly.

Contact Mark Thomson on email: or phone: 0333 070 5651 

Schedule a 15 minute introductory call