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Civil Partnerships

What Is a Civil Patnership?

A civil partnership is a legal agreement entered into by two people who aren’t related but who wish to enter into a legal relationship, as opposed to an informal living arrangement. This relationship is then registered so that the civil partnership has legal regular recognition .

By registering a civil partnership, your relationship will be given added legal rights as well as legal responsibilities. A registered civil partnership can only be ended if one if you dies, or by applying to the court for the partnership to be ended.

Civil partnerships are available to both same sex couples and opposite sex couples. To register a civil partnership you and your partner must sign a civil partnership document in front of two witnesses and a registrar.

Who can register a civil partnership?

A civil partnership can be entered into if:

  • You are both 16 and over. If you are under 18 you will need the written consent from your parents or legal guardians.
  • You have lived in the same area in England or Wales for at least seven days in paragraph you are not already in a civil partnership or marriage.
  • You are not close blood relatives.

If you are unable to gain the consent of your parents or guardians, you may be able to apply to the court for permission to register your civil partnership.

How to Register a Civil Partnership

The steps to registering a civil partnership are:

  1. give notice of your intention to register
  2. actually register the civil partnership

 

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Giving Notice

Both you and your partner need to give notice of your intention to register a civil partnership. You must do this in person at your local register office where you live. You will need to give notice to your local register office even if you’re going to register your civil partnership somewhere else. In order to give notice you must have lived in the area for at least seven days before giving notice.

You will be asked to give details of the date and place where the civil partnership is to be registered, As well as evidence of your identity such as a passport, your birth certificate, and details of the ending of your previous marriage or civil partnership , such as a decree absolute, or death certificate.

Your notice of your intention to register a civil partnership will be made available in the register office for people to view. The notice will be available in both the area that you live and the area you’re going to register if this is different. The details will be available for 28 days for the general public to view. Within these 28 days the public can make any objections. After the 28 days, if there had been no objections and there are no other legal reasons why you cannot proceed, you will be free to register your partnership.

You have 12 months from the end of the 28 day registration. In which to register your civil partnership . If you do not register within the 12 months, the whole process will have to start again.

The 28 day waiting time can be waived in exceptional surfing circumstances , such as where one of you is seriously ill and not expected to recover. In addition, the 28 day time limit can be waived if one of you has acquired a different gender.

Registration

You can register your civil partnership in any approved register office or any venue . The civil partnership is legally registered once you have signed the legal document known as a civil partnership schedule , or once you have signed a licence (if one of you is seriously ill). Registration must be carried out in the presence of a registrar and two witnesses.

You do not have to have a ceremony, however you can if you choose to do so. You are not allowed to have a religious service at the signing of a civil partnership schedule.

There is a fee for giving notice of your intention to register a civil partnership and a registration fee. You should contact your venue for details of the fees. Finally there will be a fee to obtain a civil partnership certificate when you register. Details of fees can be found at the gov.uk website.

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