If you have formed a civil partnership under the Civil Partnership Act or you have married your partner under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act that has recently come into force, you will need detailed legal advice if your civil partnership or marriage should break up.
Our team can assist you with the procedure you need to follow to secure your dissolution or divorce and will provide you with detailed advice regarding the claims that both you and your partner/spouse can bring against the other in the event of breakup. We are totally committed to out of court settlements and would inform you about the different ways in which you can resolve your financial settlement with your partner/spouse without having recourse to the Court. The key is to avoid acrimony if at all possible and in particular with a view to protecting the interests of any child or children of the partnership or marriage.
The grounds for a civil partnership dissolution or a gay divorce are the same as for heterosexual divorces save for the fact that a petition cannot be based on adultery. This may be something that changes in the future but at present, adultery can only be committed if the adulterers are members of the opposite sex. The remaining grounds that you can rely upon are for your dissolution or divorce are:
a) Your partner has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably he expected to live together or;
c) You have been separated for two years and your partner agrees to the divorce or;
d) You have been separated for five years or;
e) Your partner deserted you for more than two years.
If more than one of the above reasons applies, the team can advise you on which is most suitable to your circumstances and what information the court will need. They will also advise you about whether you should be seeking an order that your partner or spouse pays the costs of your proceedings or not or whether the costs should be shared.
The claims brought by civil partners or same sex spouses mirror the financial claims that can be brought by parties in heterosexual divorce. These financial claims and how to resolve them is one of the most complicated areas of family law owing to the competing interests of both parties and the complicated financial landscapes that can apply. If children are involved, things can get even more complicated and for that reason it is important that you find out what your legal position is upon the dissolution of your partnership or your divorce before you seek to settle matters directly with your partner or spouse through direct discussion or alternative forms of resolution such as mediation.
The financial aspects of a relationship breakdown in marriage or a civil partnership are dealt with in detail in the section entitled Financial Settlements and therefore we recommend you click on the link for this section to learn about the procedure that applies in the sad event that an amicable out of court settlement is not achievable on your dissolution or divorce and financial proceedings have to be issued.