Civil Partnership Solicitors in London - Family Law Partners

Civil Partnership Solicitors in London

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Expert advice for civil partnerships in London

Our civil partnership solicitors in London advise couples at every stage of their relationship. The team includes Farhana Shahzady, Emilie Helm, Trisha Siddique and Rosa Schofield who have considerable experience across a wide range of cases, including where there are high value assets and other complex issues to consider.

Our civil partnership solicitors’ services in London

Phone: 020 3301 3276
Address: 56 Queen Anne Street, London, W1G 8LA
Email: [email protected]

Our award-winning team

Our specialist team of family lawyers are externally recognised by Resolution, Chambers UK, Legal 500 and the Law Society. In 2019, we were winners of the Medium Law Firm of the Year award at the Law Society Excellence Awards, which was an important moment in our team’s history.

Legal 500 UK Top Tier 2023

We’re here to guide and support you.

You need legal advice tailored to your circumstances and requirements. We offer an initial call to discuss your situation and what you are hoping to achieve, with no obligation or pressure to go any further if you are not ready to do so.

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Our fees

We offer flexible funding options to cover our civil partnership solicitors’ fees, including Agreed Fees and Litigation Funding where appropriate. Please get in touch to find out more.

Pre-civil partnership agreements

Pre-civil partnership agreements or ‘pre-civs’ offer the same protection as prenuptial agreements for couples getting married.  They are also sometimes called ‘pre-registration agreements’.

It is increasingly common for couples from all backgrounds to want to set out how their assets would be divided if they one day separated. This can remove any uncertainty about what each person is entitled to and can make things much simpler and less stressful if the relationship does end.

A pre-civ is especially worth considering if you have substantial assets or children from a previous relationship whose future inheritance you wish to protect.

Our civil partnership solicitors in London can provide expert advice on negotiating the details of a pre-civ, drafting the document and reviewing it for you before signing.

Post-civil partnership agreements

A post-civil partnership agreement is essentially the same as a pre-civil partnership agreement, but can be made at any time after your registration. They can be used where you did not have a pre-civil partnership agreement or where your circumstances have changed, meaning your existing agreement is no longer suitable.

It is worth noting that, if your financial situation or family circumstances have changed significantly since a pre-civ was made, it is likely that it would not be upheld by a court, especially if it fails to make sufficient provision for any children.

Our team will be happy to advise on whether a post-civil partnership agreement is required and can support you through the whole process of putting one in place.

Creating families

Families can take many different forms and be created in a variety of ways. Our team are experts in advising on the legal side of options including surrogacy, fertility treatment, donor conception, adoption, co-parenting and same-sex parenting.

Whether you are at an early stage of considering one of these options, are ready to move forward or need advice on an issue that has arisen, we can provide clear, practical guidance in a sensitive manner.

Learn more about our expertise with the legal side of creating families.

Civil partnership dissolution

Ending a civil partnership can be really stressful, with a lot of emotional and practical issues to sort out. Getting the right legal support can make things much simpler and less taxing, while ensuring you get the right outcome for your future.

Our civil partnership dissolution experts in London can assist with every part of the process, including making the application to dissolve your civil partnership, as well as sorting out your finances and arrangements for any children.

As experts in alternative dispute resolution, we can give you the best chance of avoiding unnecessary conflict. Our civil partnership dissolution services include the use of methods such as family mediation, collaborative law and arbitration to match your circumstances.

Division of finances

Separating your finances can be complicated, but it is absolutely essential to get it right as it can have a significant impact on your long-term security and standard of living.

We can assist with resolving issues surrounding the dissolution of a civil partnership including what happens to the family home and how other assets are divided, usually without the need for court proceedings. Our experts will make sure you understand exactly what you are entitled to and assist you in negotiating a fair settlement, as well as applying to a court for a Consent Order to make it legally binding.

Should it prove necessary, we can also assist with court proceedings, including applying for a Financial Order to decide the division of your finances.

Learn more about our expertise with divorce financial settlements and division of finances.

Arrangements for children

Deciding where your children will live and when they will spend time with each parent can be tricky. It is essential to keep your children’s best interests at the fore, while also ensuring your relationship with them is protected.

Our civil partnership solicitors in London can help you to make child arrangements amicably wherever possible. This is usually the best approach for your children’s wellbeing and can make it easier to co-parent effectively by minimising the risk of conflict.

However, if it is not possible to reach agreement, we can support you to apply to a court for a Child Arrangements Order to resolve the matter.

Learn more about our expertise with arrangements for children and child law.

Civil partnership FAQs

How do you end a civil partnership?

The process to end a civil partnership has become more straightforward since April 2022 when the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 came into effect. This introduced a number of changes which were intended to modernise and simplify divorce and civil partnership dissolution proceedings.

The civil partnership dissolution process is now as follows:

Making an application – One or both partners must complete an online application. This must include a ‘statement of irretrievable breakdown’ to confirm the relationship is over. If one partner applies alone, this is known as a ‘sole application’, if both partners apply together, this is known as a ‘joint application’.

The court issues the application – Once the court receives the application, it will be officially ‘issued’.

Service of the application (sole applications only) – Where one partner made the application alone, then the court will send a copy to the other partner (called ‘the respondent’).

Responding to the application (sole applications only) – The respondent must confirm receipt of the application within 14 days by completing and returning an ‘acknowledgement of service’ form to the court.

Conditional Order – A key interim step is to apply for a Conditional Order. This is a court order stating that there is no reason the dissolution cannot go ahead. An applicant can apply for the Conditional Order a minimum of 20 weeks after the initial application was issued by the court.

Final Order – Once the Conditional Order has been granted, applicants must wait a minimum of 6 weeks. They can then apply for the Final Order which legally ends their civil partnership. If a sole application was made and the applicant fails to apply for the Final Order within 3 months, the respondent can apply instead.

How long does a civil partnership dissolution take?

A civil partnership dissolution will take a minimum of 6 months, taking into account the two mandatory wait periods of 20 weeks and 6 weeks set out above. However, this is just the time for legally ending the relationship. Division of finances and arrangements for children can be resolved faster or take longer, depending on the circumstances.

What are the grounds for civil partnership dissolution?

There is only one ground for the dissolution of a civil partnership – that the relationship has irretrievably broken down. You will need to confirm this in the dissolution application by including a ‘statement of irretrievable breakdown’.

Prior to the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 coming into effect in April 2022, it was necessary to give one of four accepted reasons for the end of the relationship, however, this is no longer required.

The four accepted reasons were:

  • Unreasonable behaviour (which included infidelity)
  • Desertion (one partner leaving the other for at least 2 years out of the last 2.5 years without their consent or a good reason)
  • Separation for at least 2 years (with both partners’ consent)
  • Separation for at least 5 years

One of the key goals of removing the need to provide one of these reasons was to take away a potential source of conflict during the process, which could make things much more difficult, especially when it came to deciding the division of finances and arrangements for children.

How is a civil partnership different to marriage?

A civil partnership is, in most senses, the same as a marriage but with different terminology e.g. ‘civil partner’ instead of ‘spouse’. One of the main differences is that you enter into a civil partnership by signing the civil partnership documents, while a marriage is entered into by saying vows.

Civil partners have all of the same legal rights as married people, including with respect to each other’s property.

Taking care of you emotionally and practically

We are one of the only family law teams to have a Family Consultant within our team. Find out what this means for you and your family.

Find out more

Taking care of you emotionally and practically

We are one of the only family law teams to have a Family Consultant within our team. Find out what this means for you and your family.

Find out more