Newcastle’s Top Divorce and Family Law Specialist, Joanne Major states Figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal the number of civil partnership dissolutions granted in England and Wales in 2012 have increased by one fifth since 2011 with the number of dissolutions now reaching 794.  The number of civil partnerships registered in the UK in 2012 was 7,037 an increase of 3.6% since 2011.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 made sweeping changes to the law concerning same sex couples who, since this Act, have been able to enter into legally recognised civil partnerships.  It would appear that these relationships will follow the general trends of marriage and divorce.  The statistics would tend to show that the first 10 years are the most vulnerable in a marriage, and the same seems to be true of civil partnerships.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics also showed that same-sex female couples are more likely to dissolve civil partnerships than men – something lawyers said also mirrored straight couples with findings showing more women than men file for divorce.

Perhaps with the higher number of civil partnership dissolutions, it is time for couples to consider pre-civil partnership agreements (essentially the equivalent of the familiar pre-nuptial agreement) which will allow them to agree a split of assets in the event of the relationship breaking down.  This is of course particularly important where the parties have high value assets or wealth is unevenly distributed between the partners.

It should also be noted that the number of divorces still dramatically outweigh the number of dissolutions sought by same sex couples.  Currently, 42% of marriages end up in divorce compared to only 4% of civil partnerships.