Some Civil Partnerships will fail. The Partnership will have to be formally dissolved through the Courts; this is legally referred to as "civil partnership dissolution" and not "divorce". Civil Partnership dissolution cannot be undertaken within the first year of that Civil Partnership.
The only ground for the dissolution of a civil partnership is the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. This must be proven by citing one or more of the following facts:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- 2 years separation and consent to a divorce
- 2 years desertion
- 5 years separation
The only difference to a heterosexual divorce is that the ground of Adultery cannot be relied upon for a "gay divorce". Adultery is a specific legal term relating to heterosexual sex and which cannot be used as grounds for a civil partnership dissolution. If one of the partners is unfaithful the grounds for dissolution may therefore be unreasonable behaviour.
Separating civil partners have the same financial legal remedies as divorcing couples. If you're in a civil partnership you have rights to claim maintenance, lump sum payments, property transfer and pension sharing/attachment orders.
After the dissolution of your civil partnership you can acquire parental responsibility of your civil partner's child by agreement or Court order thereby conferring all the rights and responsibilities that divorcing parents retain in relation to children. It is possible for separating civil partners to apply for a child arrangements order regulating arrangements relating to whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with.
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