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Civil Partnerships

Our experienced Civil Partnership Dissolution solicitors in Sheffield know that not all relationships work out and couples do separate. Many people ask the same question, is the Civil Partnership and Divorce procedure the same? The procedure isn't the exact same but it is very similar in that your relationship needs to have broken down irretrievably and by proving one of four facts;

  • Your partner has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.
  • Your partner has deserted you for two or more years
  • That you and your partner have been separated for two or more years and you both agree to the dissolution of the partnership.
  • That you and your partner have been separated for five or more years.

Unlike divorce (same for same sex divorces), there is no provision within the Civil Partnership dissolution for “adultery” if your partner has been unfaithful to you during the relationship, then this could be included within the behaviour petition.  

If you wish to dissolve your Civil Partnership straightaway, then the only fact you can rely on is behaviour. Otherwise you will have to wait 2 or 5 years depending on your circumstances. The reasons for a relationship breakdown can be very subjective, these are usually centred on lack of love and affection, support, financial conduct, working too hard, lack of communication.

How to start a Civil Partnership dissolution

  • When starting dissolution proceedings there are only a small number of courts dedicated to civil partnership dissolution. We shall choose the best suited court suited to your locality.
  • You will need your original civil partnership certificate, if you do not have the certificate then, we can request a duplicate from the local registry.
  • Once issued, the court will send a copy of the dissolution petition to your partner, with an acknowledgement pack, which tells them how to respond to the petition. If your partners does not return the forms to the court, you can proceed with the dissolution even if they do not send the papers back to the court so long as they have received the papers and there are a number of different ways we can prove to the court that your partner has been served.
  • Once the court has received the acknowledgement of service, we can apply to the court for the Conditional Order. You will need to complete a short statement confirming to the court any change in your circumstances since the start of court proceedings. This is usually a change of address or amending something that was incorrect or requires changing from that in the original petition. Once sent to the court, a Judge will review the statement and if satisfied, the court will list the case for the pronouncement of the Conditional Order, usually around a month later. You normally do not need to attend the court for the pronouncement of the conditional order, unless there is an argument about who will pay for the legal costs of the dissolution.
  • Once the Conditional Order is pronounced you will then have to wait 6 weeks and one day, unless there are extenuating circumstances, before you can apply for the Final Order. The court normally issues the Final Order within 2 weeks of receiving your application. However, often there are good reasons to delay your application for the Final Order. It is therefore important that you seek legal advice about whether applying for a Final Order is in your best interests. You need to know that by obtaining a Final order it does not automatically finalise your finances on the pronouncement of the Final Order. By applying for the Final Decree without obtaining legal advice you could end some rights you have as a civil partner.

Family Team

Lindsey Canning
Director

Alison Gaddes
Associate

Victoria Walker
Family Law Executive

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"Alison Gaddes has handled my divorce efficiently and professionally whilst being sensitive to what has been a difficult time for me. She has explained all aspects of the legalities and kept me fully updated on the developments of my case at all times. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone seeking legal representation."

Helen Machin

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