Our expert lawyers can assist and guide you through all stages of the Civil Partnership process

Our experienced legal team can help advise you on issues arising when you make the decision to enter into a civil partnership. We can help ensure the dissolution of your civil partnership is handled in the best possible manner and assist with the distribution of financial assets.

What is a civil partnership?

A civil partnership gives you the same responsibilities and rights as are held in marriage and is a legal partnership between a couple of the same sex. 

Registering your civil partnership is a two-step process. Firstly, you need to give notice to the district registrar about your wish to register your partnership. You will need to provide relevant documentation to prove your identity and your legal rights to enter into this relationship. Within 28 days you will be supplied with Civil Partnership Schedule meaning you can then register your partnership, which has to be actioned within three months.

The civil partnership will be legally enacted once it has been signed by you and your partner in front of two witnesses and the registrar.

The person registering the civil partnership can be either a district or assistant district registrar or a religious celebrant who has been authorised by the Registrar General.

What is the difference between civil partnership and marriage?

Legally, there is very little difference between a civil partnership and a marriage, as they both carry the same rights and responsibilities for the couple.

How do you upgrade a civil partnership to marriage?

The enactment of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 made it possible for same sex couples to marry. Any civil partnerships already in place when this law came into force could automatically be converted over to a marriage. The first same sex marriages occurred on 31 December 2014, and since the legalisation same sex marriage the numbers of people in civil partnership have dropped considerably.

Converting a civil partnership into marriage can be accomplished via a simple administrative process at your local register office; alternatively, you could go ahead with a marriage ceremony. You just need to sign the conversion to marriage declaration in front of a registrar to confirm the transfer.

How do you end a civil partnership?

It is only possible for a civil partnership to end if one person should die or via application to the courts. If civil partners do decide to get married, the civil relationship ends on the day that the marriage takes place.

Ending a civil partnership is termed a dissolution, and the grounds for dissolution are the same as the grounds for divorce.

We can advise on any financial disputes arising as result of your decision to end the civil partnership, including claims for aliment, allowances, capital sums or pension share arrangements. The satisfactory settlement of any financial disputes has to be in place prior to any dissolution taking place.

How much does it cost to dissolve a civil partnership?

The costs of dissolving a civil partnership will vary depending on the route chosen to end your relationship. You can opt for an informal separation and simply notify all the relevant bodies that you are no longer a couple. However, this informal agreement will not carry any legal standing.

Seeking legal advice and drawing up a separation agreement may be necessary. Legal costs can be minimised if you and your partner can come to an agreement on all terms in advance.

Our Family Law Team practices from our offices in EdinburghGlasgowBathgateDalkeith and Musselburgh. Get in touch to discuss your civil partnership.

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Get in touch with the Family Law team to discuss your case.

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