When a civil partnership breaks down there are often complicated issues to resolve in relation both to children and financial issues.
We can help you with all of these issues. In appropriate cases we will recommend that you go to mediation to try to reach agreement.
We can advise about all aspects of the dissolution of a civil partnership. Most people prefer to reach a negotiated solution to their differences but if it’s not possible for you and your partner to reach agreement, then we can help you to make an application to court and represent you at all stages of the process.
A dissolution of a civil partnership doesn’t have to be confrontational. A sensitive approach from your legal team will make all the difference.
All of our lawyers adhere to the Resolution code of practice and are committed to trying to resolve family disputes in a constructive and non-confrontational way.
Civil Partnership FAQ’sWhat are the grounds for dissolution of a civil partnership?
You need to demonstrate that your former partner has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him or her. This involves setting out details of the behaviour in your petition. We would always advise, if at all possible, that the details of the behaviour to be included in your petition are agreed with former partner in advance, if at all possible. This may avoid the risk of the petition being contested.
Your former partner must have deserted you without your consent for a continuous period of 2 years. In practice this fact is rarely used.
Two years separation with consent
This is the only true “non-fault” ground. You need to prove to the court that you and your former partner have lived apart for two years and that your partner consents to a dissolution of the partnership.
Five years separation
This fact applies where you and your former partner have lived apart for five years. It can be used even if your partner won’t agree to a dissolution, unlike a petition based on 2 years separation.Text
Provided the application is not defended, the other party co-operates with the process and there are no serious complications (such as having to trace your former partner because you have lost contact with him or her), the partnership can usually be dissolved within 5 – 6 months of your instructing us. You need to bear in mind that it can sometimes take much longer and in some cases we may advise you that it is in your best interests to delay finalising the dissolution until the financial and property issues between you and your partner have been resolved.
In all cases the court needs to be satisfied that the arrangements for any children are appropriate, or the best that can be achieved, before allowing the dissolution to be finalised. In these cases, the arrangements are recorded in a document which will be sent to the court with the application, and the court will not need to make any orders about the children.
In some cases there may be real difficulties in agreeing who the children will live with, or what contact arrangements might be appropriate. In such cases we will encourage you, where appropriate, to go to mediation to try to reach agreement with your former partner. Where agreement is not possible the court has a range of powers to resolve these disputes.
The law aims to achieve a fair solution, bearing in mind the needs of any children, which will be given priority. In considering any financial settlement the law says that the following factors should be taken into account:
- The needs of any children under the age of 18 years.
- The present earning capacity, income expenses and assets of each party.
- Pensions, inheritances and other foreseeable future gains.
- Future needs.
- The length of the marriage.
- The age and health of the parties.
- Contributions made by either party (including non financial contributions such as bringing up children).
- Conduct, if it would be unfair to disregard it. It most cases conduct is not taken into account and in fact, the courts have made it clear that conduct will only be taken into account in exceptional circumstance
The courts have the same powers to make financial orders as on a divorce.
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Family Law Specialist
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