Vines Legal Logo

Vines Legal Limited

Matrimonial & Family Law Specialists

Progressive • Dedicated • Persistent

Call today for your free initial, no obligation, consultation on 01246 555 610 for immediate, friendly and professional advice.

Understanding the Differences between Civil Partnership and Marriage

Understanding the Differences between Civil Partnership and MarriageAlthough Civil Partnerships may have been associated with same sex couples in the past, they’ve actually been legal for both male/female and same-sex couples since June 2018. At the time, it was recognised that men and women should be allowed to have one too, as opposed to just the single option of marriage as a legally binding union. British same-sex couples have been able to have Civil Partnerships since December 2005, and gay marriage was made legal in England, Scotland and Wales in 2013.

So, even though both options are now legally available to all couples, why would someone choose to have a Civil Partnership rather than a marriage and what are the differences between them?

What is a Civil Partnership?

A Civil Partnership is a legal relationship that can be registered by two people who aren't related to each other. Once registered, it will give your relationship legal recognition, which in turn gives you added legal rights and responsibilities. A Civil Partnership can only be ended by applying to court to bring the partnership to an end legally, or if one person dies. In addition, you cannot apply to bring a Civil Partnership to an end until it has lasted for at least one year.

Civil Partnerships may be chosen over marriage if a couple prefers a modern alternative and may be appropriate where partners don’t want to be associated with the traditional religious and patriarchal connotations of marriage. 

What are the Main Differences Between Civil Partnership and Marriage?

Although similar in many ways, the main difference between Civil Partnerships and marriage is that a marriage is formed by vows and can be performed in a religious ceremony before signing a marriage certificate. Civil Partnerships, on the other hand, are formed by signing a Civil Partnership certificate. However, both marriage and Civil Partnerships are treated as fundamentally the same in the eyes of the law, offering couples many of the same benefits, rights, and obligations.

For example, as with marriage, where there is no Will upon the death of one civil partner and no children, their estate will automatically pass to their civil partner. Civil partners also benefit from the same exemption from inheritance tax on assets which pass on the death of their partner as married couples. 

Civil Partnerships also provide both partners with the same potential rights to maintenance as married couples. Therefore, if a relationship breakdown does occur, couples in both marriages and Civil Partnerships will be protected financially and are potentially able make claims for future maintenance. Further benefits include right of custody if there are children.

Whether you are married or in a Civil Partnership and looking to separate, Vines Legal can guide you through what can be a confusing and distressing time. We always work hard to provide you with the best possible outcome, where you are embarking on a divorce or a dissolution. If you’re currently living with a partner and have no plans for marriage or a Civil Partnership, we can also help with cohabitation agreements to protect your assets in the event of a separation. Call Vines Legal for your free initial, no obligation, consultation on 01246 555 610 for immediate, friendly, and professional advice.

By Vines Legal on 8 Dec 2022, 14:05 PM

Why choose Vines Legal?

Request a Callback

See if we can help...