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Civil Partnership Dissolution Procedure

The only ground for dissolution of a civil partnership is that it has broken down irretrievably

You will need to rely on one of four facts to prove that your Civil Partnership has broken down

  1. That your Civil Partner has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.
  2. That your Civil Partner has deserted you for 2 years or more.
  3. That you have been separated for 2 years or more and you both agree to the dissolution.
  4. That you and your partner have been separated for 5 years or more.

Applying for a Dissolution

This is achieved by completing a form called a Dissolution Petition. This form, together with the original Civil Partnership Certificate and the court fee is sent to the court to issue the proceedings.  The person that starts the proceedings is known as the Petitioner and the person that responds is called the Respondent.

The Respondent has 14 days to acknowledge receipt by completing the Acknowledgement of Service form which accompanies the papers and returning it to the court.

If the Respondent defends the Petition, the Respondent will need to file a Defence called an Answer. There will need to be a court hearing where both parties will be expected to attend court to give evidence.  To defend a dissolution is costly and careful consideration will need to be given if this is the route to be taken

Once the Respondent returns the Acknowledgement of Service form to the court, the Petitioner will receive a copy and if it is undefended, the Petitioner will be expected to complete a statement and apply for a Conditional Dissolution Order


Conditional Dissolution Order

Once the court receives the statement in support, a Judge will consider the contents of the original Petition, the Respondent’s reply contained within the Acknowledgement of Service form and the Petitioner’s statement in support.  If the Judge decides that you are entitled to a dissolution, you will be notified of the date when the Conditional Dissolution Order (first stage of the dissolution) will be pronounced in open court.

The Judge will also consider the arrangements for the children and will issue a certificate of satisfaction which is needed before your dissolution can be finalised.

If a financial agreement has been reached then, after the Conditional Dissolution Order, it can be sent to the court in the form of a draft Court Order for consideration and approval by the Judge.

The financial agreement cannot be approved by the court until the Conditional Dissolution Order has been pronounced.

The Final Order

After a period of 6 weeks and 1 day from the pronouncement of the Conditional Dissolution Order, the Petitioner can apply for the Final Order of Dissolution. This will be an administrative process.

The Petitioner may decide not to apply for the Final Order if a financial agreement has not been reached.

If the Petitioner does not apply, the Respondent can apply 3 months after the date that the Petitioner could first apply. If the Respondent applies there will be a court hearing.

If a financial agreement cannot be reached, court proceedings to resolve financial matters can only be started if dissolution proceedings have been commenced.

A financial agreement cannot be approved by the court until the Conditional Dissolution Order has been pronounced.  For more information on financial arrangements, please see our financial arrangements following divorce, separation and dissolution page. 

If there is a dispute about where the children will live, this may affect financial proceedings which are likely to be delayed until the outcome of the arrangements for the children has been finalised.

If you require further information please contact one of our divorce and family lawyers:-

Swati Somaiya
Direct Dial 0116 242 1255
Mobile 07739 507 532
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Dawn Salter
Direct Dial 0116 242 1297
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