A civil partnership can be converted to a same-sex marriage from 10th December 2014

Equalities minister, Sajid Javid, has announced that same-sex couples will be able to convert their civil partnerships to marriages from 10th December 2014.

To do this, a couple will now have to attend a registry office and sign a declaration that they wish to be married in front of a registrar.

Coinciding with the announcement comes the publishing of results of an online survey into civil partnerships. Conducted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the survey analysed responses to questions including whether civil partnerships should be abolished, open to same-sex couples and continue to be open to gay couples.

The review concluded that it is too soon to consider making changes about the availability of civil partnerships. Decisions about the future of civil partnerships are to be delayed until information is available about the impact of extending marriage to same-sex couples.

So what the difference?

The main differences between a civil partnership and marriage for same-sex couples are:

Marriages Civil Partnerships
The ceremony can be a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony if the religious organisation has agreed to conduct services for
same-sex couples. At the ceremony a couple say a prescribed form of words.
The ceremony is a civil event. At the ceremony, no words need to be spoken by the couple who sign a civil partnership document.
Marriage certificates include the names of the couple fathers. Civil partnership certificates include the names of both parents of the couple.
A marriage can be ended by adultery if the respondent has sexual intercourse with a
person of the opposite-sex outside marriage.
Adultery is not a act which is available to those seeking to dissolve a civil partnership.
The financial implications of dissolving a civil partnership or gay marriage are envisaged to be the same.

In October 2013 the Office for National Statistics reported that 120,000 people were in civil partnerships.

If you need any advice relating to civil partnerships, please contact the Family Law team on 0113 201 4900 or by email family.law@emsleys.co.uk.

Gabbie  Clasper

Written by

Gabbie Clasper

Head of Family Law

Gabbie has over 20 years’ experience in family law. She has expert knowledge in complex issues including financial aspects following divorce; pre and post-nuptial agreements; cases with an international element; and civil partnerships. Gabbie is regularly instructed by clients based across the country and abroad. She...

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