Thursday, 4 August 2011

The effect is the same...

It is reported that the Government has delayed a consultation on equality betwen marriage and civil partnerships from the summer to the autumn.  This has apparently upset many gay rights campaigners who feel that both options should immediately be available to all, regardless of sexual orientation.  Currently, marriage can only take place between a man and a woman, whilst civil partnerships are only available to same sex couples.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this approach, there is little practical difference to the advice given on divorce at the end of a marriage or when advising parties who wish to dissolve their civil partnership.  The only real difference appears in the reasons given for the end of the relationship.  Married couples can cite adultery as one of the reasons why the marriage has failed.  The same is not available to those wishing to end their civil partnership.

When considering the financial consequences, however, divorce settlements are based on the same law and principles as apply to civil partnerships.  Parties can share remedies in respect of capital, income and pension.  The court will apply the same legal principles to determine a fair settlement on a divorce or when dissolving a civil partnership.  The welfare of any children of the relationship is of paramount importance, before going on to consider a range of other factors.

For more advice on divorce or dissolving your civil partnership follow our family law blog of follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

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