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Civil Partnership

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In June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that civil partnerships would be available to heterosexual couples, as well as same-sex couples.

A civil partnership is a legal relationship which when registered gives the relationship legal recognition and provides added legal rights. Until the Supreme Court ruling, a civil partnership was only available to same sex couples, first introduced in 2004.

The law surrounding civil partnerships changed on New Year’s Eve allowing heterosexual couples to be able to enter into a civil partnership. One couple have already entered into a civil partnership, following their five year campaign for the law to be changed to provide other options to marriage.

It has been expressed that civil partnerships may be preferable as there are no religious connotations, as with marriage. 

This change demonstrates the constant changes in family law to ensure equality and diversity and the importance that it must be kept up to date and relevant. This now provides legal protection to heterosexual couples who do not wish to marry.

When a relationship comes to an end, the rights of those who aren’t married differs greatly from those who are. However, if a couple have entered into a civil partnership, they will now receive the same protection as those who are married, against matters such as property and inheritance.

The Supreme Court in June 2018, ruled that a refusal to allow opposite sex couples to have civil partnerships is ‘incompatible’ with human rights law.

If you would like further advice and information, contact our Family Team.