Gay Divorce and Same Sex Relationships

If your relationship is in difficulty, you may be contemplating divorce. Or your spouse may have asked for divorce, but you’re not sure that’s what you want.

For those in same sex relationships who have entered into a civil partnership, gay divorce is technically known as civil partnership dissolution.

Before you go ahead with divorce, you need to decide if ending a civil partnership is what you really want. You might be unsure about the finality of gay divorce/civil partnership dissolution or need help coming to terms with your relationship ending. If you are uncertain, we recommend you speak in confidence with our Relationship Counsellor. Our Relationship Counsellor can work with you to help deal with ending a civil partnership and how to move on. He can also assist with supporting your children during divorce.

How to Get a Gay Divorce

If you want a civil partnership dissolution, you must have entered a civil partnership for at least one year. Your marriage must be legally recognised in the UK and you must also live permanently in England or Wales.

When ending a civil partnership or any marriage, you must prove to the Court your relationship has irretrievably broken down. The four grounds for gay divorce are:

1) Unreasonable behaviour, including adultery, abuse or financial irresponsibility

2) Desertion, where your partner has left without reason more than two years ago

3) You have been separated for two years and your civil partner agrees

4) You have been separated for five years, even if your civil partner doesn’t agree

The process of ending a civil partnership is largely administrative, involving submitting the correct paperwork to the Court. There are usually three stages of paperwork to complete for gay divorce, with several forms to fill in as part of the procedure.

Firstly, you must complete a civil partnership dissolution form and send three copies to the Court, including their £550 fee. Then, if your civil partner agrees to the dissolution and to any terms relating to your children,you will apply for a conditional order. You must also arrange the division of money and property during this time.

Finally, you can apply for a final order, the legal document which ends your civil partnership. Then your marriage is legally terminated, and you are divorced. This will change your legal status and may impact on your personal affairs in relation to such things as tax, benefits entitlement and any will you have made.

Getting Help with Gay Divorce

With lots of complicated paperwork to fill in, ending a civil partnership is difficult without a solicitor. You must complete forms within certain time frames, otherwise you need to explain the delay to the Court. A solicitor can help with gay divorce by advising when and how to fill out the official paperwork. They can also ensure you have the right documents and evidence needed to complete the process.

If you are concerned about financial provision or have children, it’s also recommended to have your solicitor assist with creating a legally binding arrangement.

Even if you and your partner agree, it’s a very good idea for your solicitor to check over any paperwork to make sure your civil partnership dissolution is incontestable.

Although gay divorce is mostly administrative, the issues surrounding civil partnership dissolution are often more complex. Ending a marriage must be dealt with sympathetically, fairly and efficiently. A solicitor can act on your behalf in court to make sure you receive the best results.

For more information on ending same sex relationships and gay divorce, find out find out how we do it, or please feel free to contact us for impartial, specialist advice from Major Family Law.