Just like any relationship civil partnerships whether between same sex couples or couples of the opposite sex, can break down and become an unhappy environment.  We understand that our clients come to us at some of the most difficult times in their lives and we work with them to end their civil partnership to allow them to move forward.

Just like a divorce of a married couple, dissolution of the civil partnership acts to bring an end to the legal relationship. There are other methods to bring an end to a civil partnership which will be explained further below. In the dissolution of a civil partnership, the parties have the same rights and entitlements as they do as though they were married and were getting a divorce.  One of the only differences in the procedure of the dissolution process is simply terminology, otherwise the process remains almost identical to that of a divorce.

What is dissolution process?

We want to ensure that all our clients are fully aware as to the procedures we follow in obtaining the dissolution of a civil partnership. There’s 4 steps to the process of dissolution, they’ve been explained in detail below.

David Durkin-Finch


Unreasonable behaviour

Unreasonable behaviour, includes being sexually unfaithful as there is no separate ground for this within a civil partnership until recently civil partnerships were between a same sex couple. Since 2018 any couple whether same sex or not can now enter into a civil partnership. However, at the present time the grounds for dissolution have not been amended to include adultery.

The word legal term of adultery refers a man or wife having a sexual relationship with someone else of the opposite sex. Therefore did not apply to civil partners. Examples of unreasonable behaviour can include:

  • Sexually unfaithful
  • Unreasonable financial control or financial irresponsibility
  • Physical or mental abuse or cruelty

Separation (two years)

Where you and your civil partner have lived separate lives for two years or more this can be used as grounds for dissolution with both partners consent. It is possible to remain living in the same property or matrimonial home during the separation provided you have lived separately for example not eaten meals together or slept in the same bed.

Five years separation

Where you and your civil partner have lived separate lives for five years and this has been continuous there is no requirement for consent of both parties and either can apply for a dissolution.

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    Where one partner leaves the relationship without the agreement of the other partner and without good reason intending to end the relationship and this subsides for a period of in excess of two years it is not necessary to have consent to apply for dissolution of the civil partnership. The ground of desertion can be used, however this is a relatively rare occasion.

    Are there other ways to end a Civil Partnership?

    There are other ways to end a civil partnership and dissolution is only possible if two years have passed since the partnership was entered into.  Therefore where you wish to end a civil partnership within the first two years, or do not wish to apply for a dissolution order, you can apply to the court for legal separation order.  Once you have this you are free to apply for a dissolution at a later stage.  You cannot marry or enter into another civil partnership however until you have a final dissolution order.

    If you’re considering ending a civil partnership and want some free impartial advice, get in touch with our team, they’ve years of experience in handling matters just like yours. Call them on 0203 9252 301 or complete an online enquiry form.

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