Posted by Hannah Porter on 22nd February 2024
Is divorce the same as civil partnership dissolution?

Whether you’re facing the end of a marriage or a civil partnership, it is essential to have clear guidance and compassionate support. Since the legal recognition of Civil Partnerships in the UK in 2005, there has been a distinction in how the law addresses the dissolution of these partnerships compared to divorce albeit there are many similarities. In this blog, Solicitor Hannah Porter explains these different paths.

Divorce and Dissolution: Understanding difference

Divorce is the term used to describe the legal termination of a marriage, applicable to both heterosexual and same-sex couples. It marks the end of a marital union and restores the individuals’ single status. In contrast, dissolution is the process designated for ending a civil partnership, a route established to provide a similar legal framework for partners seeking to separate.

Both processes involve obtaining a final legal document called a Final Order that officially ends the relationship.

Ending a marriage or civil partnership

Legally speaking, the termination of a marriage is achieved exclusively through divorce or annulment, while ending a civil partnership is accomplished solely via dissolution. In either case, a legal requirement mandates that the couple must have been united in marriage or civil partnership for a minimum of one year prior to filing for divorce or dissolution.

The legal framework for ending relationships evolved significantly with the introduction of no-fault divorce in April 2022. This change marked a shift away from the necessity of assigning blame for the relationship breakdown, allowing couples to apply for a dissolution or divorce based on the mutual recognition that the relationship has irretrievably broken down, without the need to provide further justification. This development encourages a more amicable separation process, enabling both parties to focus on moving forward.

Financial and Child Arrangements

A crucial aspect of both divorce and dissolution is the settlement of financial arrangements and the care for any children from the relationship. Finalising financial agreements before obtaining the Final Order that officially ends the relationship is essential to ensure that all financial ties are concluded, preventing future claims on each other’s assets. This includes the division of property, businesses, savings, pensions, and addressing any maintenance requirements.

Similarly, arrangements for children must prioritise their well-being and future, whether through mutual agreement, mediation, or, if necessary, court intervention. At the Family Law Company we believe in the importance of these arrangements being handled with the utmost care and consideration, ensuring that the needs of the children are at the forefront of any decisions.

Our experienced lawyers support people with the legalities they face when their relationship comes to an end whether divorce, dissolution or those who are cohabiting.  Whatever your situation we’re here to offer the support and legal advice you need to move forward confidently and compassionately.

Need some advice? Get in touch today

Hannah Porter is a Solicitor at The Family Law Company. She supports clients through all aspects of family law but specialises in Divorce and Finance.

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