Civil Partnership Dissolution

If you wish to end your civil partnership following the breakdown of your relationship, you can apply for a civil partnership dissolution. The process is similar to divorce, and you will need to demonstrate to the court that your relationship has irretrievably broken down.

It is important to put a financial agreement in place if you are seeking a dissolution or there is a risk that this issue could arise later on, even many years into the future. If you have children, then you will also need to make arrangements for them. It is usually recommended that this is done by putting a written agreement in place between you and their other parent, ideally without the need for court intervention.

Our family law team have extensive experience across all of the issues involved in ending a civil partnership. We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and you will find us helpful and supportive throughout.

Wherever possible, we try to deal with issues amicably and by mutual agreement so that litigation can be avoided. This is particularly important where children are involved. Our family solicitors have a good track record of resolving matters by consent, which is generally quicker and more cost-effective than involving the courts and can also prevent a relationship from deteriorating.

If you would like to talk to one of our civil partnership solicitors in Bristol or Winterbourne, call us on 0117 909 4000 or use our enquiry form, and we will give you a call back to discuss how we can help.

Our civil partnership dissolution services

Our civil partnership solicitors will take you through the steps involved in obtaining a dissolution, including putting a financial agreement and arrangements for children in place.

Civil partnership dissolution proceedings

We will go through the grounds for obtaining a civil partnership with you and identify the right basis for your dissolution application. We will advise you on the right timing of your dissolution, taking into account other issues that may need to be dealt with, such as the division of assets.

Our team will make the application to court for dissolution for you and ensure we are available to discuss the matter throughout and answer any questions you have.

Financial settlement

Dividing assets such as a shared home and savings can be complex. Our family law team have extensive experience in resolving difficult financial issues and negotiating an acceptable solution so that you have a fair settlement for the future.

Arrangements for children

Putting arrangements for your children in place is often one of the hardest parts of ending a relationship. We understand this and will work with you to negotiate an agreement that is in their best interests and that gives you and them certainty and stability.

Several of our team specialise in dealing with the law relating to children and will be able to advise and guide you through this difficult issue.

Why choose Henriques Griffiths’ civil partnership dissolution solicitors?

Henriques Griffiths has been providing advice and help in respect of family law since 1973. As well as genuine legal expertise, we offer outstanding service, and you will always find us sympathetic and helpful. We aim to make the difficult process of dissolving a civil partnership as easy as possible.

Our Law Society accreditations and memberships

Our team includes members of the Law Society’s Family Law and Children Law panels, recognising the high standard of our legal practice in these areas. Our civil partnership dissolution lawyers also include a member of Resolution, specialising in non-confrontational family dispute resolution, and a specialist in domestic abuse cases.

The firm also benefits from a Conveyancing Quality Scheme accredited Residential Property team, who can assist with property issues involved in a civil partnership dissolution, such as selling or transferring ownership of the family home.

Henriques Griffiths is Lexcel accredited by the Law Society in recognition of our excellent practise management and client care. We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), providing assurance that we continually meet the highest legal and professional standards.

Civil partnership FAQs

What are the rules for ending a civil partnership?

Sometimes referred to as a civil partnership divorce, the reasons for obtaining a dissolution are very similar to those for ending a marriage. The court will need to be satisfied that the relationship has irretrievably broken down, which can be shown in one of four ways:

  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • You have lived apart for two years or more, and you both agree to the dissolution
  • You have lived apart for five years or more where only one of you agrees to the dissolution
  • Desertion, where your partner left at least two years ago

If you can show one of these reasons exists, then we can issue a dissolution petition which will start the process.

On 6 April 2022, the new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 will become law. This will allow couples to divorce or dissolve a civil partnership without the need to show one of the above reasons for ending their legal relationship. Instead, a statement of irretrievable breakdown will be sufficient grounds on which to ask the court for a divorce or dissolution. It will also be possible for a couple to make a joint application.

We can discuss this option with you and let you know if there is any reason why you should wait and take advantage of the new law when applying for a dissolution.

How are property and other assets divided in a civil partnership dissolution?

The court will try and divide your assets fairly, ensuring that you both have sufficient to meet your reasonable needs. It may be that one partner will receive more than the other to take into account issues such as child care, the need for a home for children and where one party has a lower earning capacity, perhaps because of their role in raising children.

Our solicitors will help you obtain an acceptable financial settlement to provide security for the future.

What happens to children when a civil partnership ends?

The courts prefer that arrangements for children are made amicably between the parents wherever possible. Our child law experts are highly experienced in helping parents negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement, and we will work with you to resolve any disagreements.

If this is not possible, then the next step is usually mediation, where a mediator will help you and your former partner to find a solution that is in the best interests of your children. In the event that an agreement cannot be reached, then we can ask the court to make a child arrangements order, setting out details such as how much time your children will spend with each parent and where they will live.

We know how difficult this process is, and you can be sure of our support and guidance throughout.

How long does it take to end a civil partnership?

This depends on whether your application for dissolution is contested as well as how quickly other issues such as financial arrangements can be resolved.

The process of obtaining a dissolution can potentially take around four to six months. If your partner agrees to the dissolution, then the court will issue a conditional order, similar to a decree nisi in divorce. Six weeks and one day after the conditional order is made, you can ask the court to grant a final order, similar to a decree absolute. This is the document that will end the civil partnership.

Contact our expert civil partnership solicitors now

For assistance with any aspect of civil partnership dissolution, including to arrange mediation or for help from a collaborative law expert, please call us on 0117 909 4000 or use the links below to make an enquiry or request a call back.

We have offices in Bristol and Winterbourne.

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