Same Sex relationships and the Law
Currently Civil Partnership legislation enables same sex couples to “register” their relationship and effectively become married in the eyes of the law.
Once registered, a couple gain the same rights as a married couple in terms of tax, inheritance and “dissolution” (the equivalent of divorce). This provides each person with a potential claim over the assets and income of the other. Financial claims on the dissolution of a civil partnership will be assessed in much the same way as those made on divorce and periods of cohabitations are likely to be combined with the length of the partnership to when considering the length of the relationship and the extent of the assets. See our page on Finances for a more in depth look at how the court determines financial provision.
The Marriage Act 2013
New legislation came into force on the 13 March 2014. This supersedes the current Civil Partnership legislation and brings in important new changes.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 enables same sex couples to marry under English and Welsh law. Crucially it makes provision for existing civil partnerships to be converted to a marriage.
One of the most significant changes is that it makes various amendments to pensions legislation and same sex partners are now entitled to benefits from their partner’s pension previously out of reach.
Protecting your finances before registering your marriage
This momentous step forward in English law has also led to an increase in pre-registration or pre-nuptial agreements as couples who may have been together for some time seek to regulate their finances before taking steps to register their relationships or marry. See our section on Pre and Post-nuptial agreements for further details.
Rayden Solicitors can advise you of the legal implications of your relationship when living together or if you are considering registering your relationship, marrying or in the unhappy event that your relationship falters.
Rayden Solicitors is committed to equality and diversity and in doing so supports and advises all members of our community.
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