The Civil Partnership Act 2004 enables same sex cohabiting couples to register their civil partnership and gives couples rights resulting in the joint treatment of income, tax, pensions, life insurance, inheritance and tenancy, as well as responsibility for children.
Although civil partnerships have been in place for a number of years, there still remains a lack of clarity about the legal status they afford to couples who commit to them.
Since they have a similar standing in law to civil marriage, civil partnerships carry with them a range of rights and responsibilities which both partners need to be aware of. If the relationship breaks down, courts have powers to dissolve civil partnerships and make decisions about children and finances just as they would in a ‘traditional’ divorce case.
For example, civil partners are generally entitled to the same exemption as married opposite-sex couples with regard to pension benefits, social security and inheritance tax, including property rights, but there can also be differences.
Civil partners have the same rights when it comes to parental responsibility for a partner’s child, including reasonable maintenance for their partner and their children.
Our team can advise on civil partnerships, taking a common sense approach to issues such as financial disputes, inheritance and other family concerns, such as arrangements for children.