The differences between civil partnership and marriage are few. However a civil partnership cannot be entered into in religious premises and there cannot be a simultaneous religious ceremony at the time the partnership is registered. It is the signing of the civil partnership schedule which creates the legal relationship.
A civil partnership can only be ended by way of formal dissolution, in the same way as divorce. Obtaining a dissolution can be a lengthy process and a civil partnership cannot be ended by simply serving a notice.
They include a claim for:
It is likely that assets built up during the civil partnership, including earlier years of cohabitation, will be divided equally on dissolution.
One of the significant differences between civil partnership and marriage is the legal consequences for same sex couples arising from having fertility treatment at a licensed clinic.
If a same sex couple have fertility treatment together, the non-biological parent will not automatically become a parent as a matter of law. In contrast if a married couple have fertility treatment, then the husband is automatically treated as the father as a matter of law.
After entering into a civil partnership a civil partner will have the same rights as if a step-parent in respect of children of the other partner. It will be possible to obtain parental responsibility by agreement for the non-biological parent.
Death and tax
Entering into a civil partnership automatically invalidates any existing Will. It is therefore important to make a new Will either in contemplation of registering the partnership, or immediately afterwards.
In all respects civil partnership is treated in the same way as marriage regarding tax.