The Best Guide for Civil Partnerships in the UK?
A civil partnership is also referred to as the civil union between two independent individuals. It is a legally acknowledged partnership where partners of the same sex or the opposite sex register themselves under UK law to form a civil partnership
The first case of civil partnership under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 took place in December 2005. Since then, more than 70,000 partners have registered themselves into civil partnerships, which give them legally the same rights as married couples.
You can also initiate a British citizenship application once you have lived a minimum of 3 years in a civil partnership.
Civil partnership for same-sex couples
Civil partnership for same-sex partners/couples came into force in 2004 under the ‘Civil Partnership Act’ granting them partnership status lawfully.
The United Kingdom Parliament passed the bill on 15.03.2019. Couples must sign a ‘civil partnership document’ with two witnesses and a registrar who will legally handle documents.
Same-sex couples cannot call themselves married under the law.
Civil partnership for opposite-sex couples
A separate legal regimen is being followed for the opposite-sex couples to form civil partnerships. The clause is outlined in the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and Civil Partnership for Opposite-sex Couples Regulation 2019. If an Opposite-sex couple enters into a civil partnership, they won’t call themselves married couples for legal reasons.
Circumstances to consider if you are outside the UK
If one partner is from outside the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and the other partner is a British citizen, settled in the UK, with limited leave, they can apply for a family visa as a proposed civil partner to make you eligible to come to the UK to enter into a civil partnership in the UK. If granted, you will be given a 6-month visa that allows you to go to the UK and enter into the civil partnership.
Who can enter into a civil partnership
Consider the following Civil partnership eligibility before applying for it.
- Minimum age of 16 years
- If you are above 16 but below 18 years of age. You must have the parents’ consent.
- If you are above 18 years, you are legally eligible to enter into a civil partnership.
- You have lived in the same area in England or Wales for at least seven days
- Neither of you is already either a civil partner or have been married
- Scotland citizens are exempted from taking parents’ consent
- If blood relations link both couples, you cannot register.
Planning and registering a civil partnership
Appropriate planning is done before beginning to register a civil partnership. There are three steps to be followed to register for a civil partnership:
Planning a ceremony: You must decide where to have your marriage or civil partnership ceremony before ‘giving notice’. Giving a notice must include details of the final venue for your ceremony. The ceremony must be held within 12 months of ‘giving notice.’
Giving notice: You must provide notice at least 29 days before your ceremony. Then, once the ceremony’s planning is done, the next step would be to notify the civil partnership. Legal documents need to be signed at a local register office stating your civil partnership or marriage intention.
Also Read: UK AND USA LAW OF EVIDENCE
Registering a civil partnership:
You can register your civil partnership in any registered office or at any venue that has been approved to register civil partnerships. Any platform that has been approved to hold civil marriages automatically has the approval to register civil partnerships. Non-religious venues cannot choose whether to keep civil partnerships or not if they hold weddings. This would be unlawful discrimination.
Religious premises are not obligated to host civil partnership ceremonies. If they do, they can choose to host:
- all civil partnership ceremonies
- Only civil partnerships between two adults of the same sex
- Only civil partnerships between two adults of the opposite sex
Procedure for ‘giving a notice.’
The proposed civil partners must book an appointment for giving notice at a local register office. In addition, you must have lived in that registration district for the past seven days.
If the partners belong to different districts, then they should separately give notice.
The cost of registering a civil partnership
The cost of registering for a civil partnership will depend on the situation at the time of registering.
- Both proposed civil partners must pay £35 each for registration.
- The fee is £47 per person if the proposed partners are from outside the EU, European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland, and both of the following apply:
- it would be best if you needed a visa to stay in the UK
- you do not have a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visitor visa or a family visa
Civil partnership annulment for both same-sex and opposite-sex partners
The UK government has issued annulment provisions for both the proposed same-sex and opposite-sex partners, and the following rules are to be considered for annulment
A civil partnership between two adults of the same- sex or opposite-sex can be annulled under the following reasons as laid down by the Government
– If either party did not validly consent to the civil partnership formation
– If either party was suffering from a mental disorder of such a kind as to render them unfit for civil partnership
– If the respondent was pregnant at the time of the civil partnership formation by some person other than the applicant
– If an interim gender recognition certificate has been issued to either party after the formation of the civil partnership
– If a full gender recognition certificate has been issued as of the date of the civil partnership to the respondent
Civil partnership dissolution
The UK government has laid down precise circumstances as to how a civil partnership between same-sex partners and opposite-sex partners can be dissolved or considered divorced. Following are the legally accepted reasons:
A civil partnership can be disbanded on the factors that the partnership has broken down in unretrievable circumstances, depending on one or more of the following:
– Behaviour by the respondent in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
– Desertion for two year
– Separation for two years (with the respondent’s consent to the dissolution)
– Separation for five years (with no consent required)
Take expert advice
You must also take a piece of legal advice from the best immigration lawyers in London to have your case represented hassle-free. A Y & J Solicitors have experience of over ten years as industry experts in civil partnerships and other immigration needs. Ther bespoke advice has benefitted over 4000 clients.
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