Legal options following the breakdown of a civil partnership


When a civil partnership first breaks up, the civil partners can informally separate and live apart. A civil partnership breakdown can affect all areas of a person' s life and most people will go on to regulate matters between them in a legal context. There are two different ways of doing this:

A separation agreement is reached through agreement between the parties and agreement can be achieved in a number of ways. However, only a decree of dissolution dissolves the civil partnership and allows each party to marry.

In specific circumstances, a court can grant a nullity decree. The effect of a nullity decree is that the court determines that no civil partnership ever existed. The law in relation to nullity is complex, and you should always seek legal advice to assess whether the circumstances exist for a nullity application.

Page edited: 10 December 2015