Theresa May recently announced that all couples, whether same or mixed-sex, should be entitled to the same choices in life. But what was she talking about?

Shortly after her statement, the Prime Minister announced that mixed-sex couples are going to be allowed to enter into civil partnerships in England and Wales.

Currently, in the UK, same-sex couples are able to choose two ways of tying the knot – by either getting married or through a civil partnership – whereas mixed couples are limited to marriage.  

Does it matter? Is there a difference and what exactly are civil partnerships? Here's everything you need to know:

Does it matter? Well, yes. We are thankfully living in an increasingly inclusive and equal society, and that equality must be seen (and practiced) to and from majority and minority groups.

Civil partnerships are a form of civil union, a legally recognised relationship between two people. Civil partnerships were first legalised for same-sex couples, under the Civil Partnerships Act back in 2004, to unite same-sex couples as a partnership.

This type of union gives couples legal responsibilities and added rights, almost identical to a marriage – but without the religious connotations.  Thus, it is a desirable option for those who want their relationship to be legally recognised but unassociated with a specific religion. These rights include inheritance, tax benefits and pensions.

So how does it differ to marriage?

  • Couples who have tied the knot through a civil partnership cannot call themselves ‘married’ for legal reasons.
  • Adultery cannot be a reason to end (dissolve) a civil partnership, whereas adultery can be the grounds for divorce within a marriage
  • Marriage certificates include only the names of the married couple’s fathers, whereas civil partnership certificates can include the parents’ names of the couple
  • Civil partnerships take place in front a registrar as opposed to a recognised religious leader, such as a vicar or a rabbi.

If you would like some more guidance on civil partnerships or have any queries, talk to Robertsons Solicitors today. All you need to do is contact us for a free initial consultation on 029 2023 7777 or email us at law@robsols.co.uk