Legal advice on all aspects of same-sex relationships including Civil Partnerships and Same-Sex Marriages
Whether you're thinking of living together with your partner, formalising your relationship through a Civil Partnership or Marriage, or ending your relationship through Dissolution or Divorce, our experienced Family Team of lawyers based in Inverness are able to assist you throughout the Highlands, including Thurso, Caithness, Moray, Nairn, Ross-shire, Skye, Stornoway, Sutherland and Orkney.
Our Family Team advises individuals on all aspects of law relating to same-sex relationships including: Civil Partnerships; Same-Sex Marriages; Cohabitation; Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements; Dissolution, Divorce and the breakdown of relationships; and issues relating to children, including Surrogacy and Assisted Reproduction.
Civil partnerships and Same-Sex Marriages are a method of legally formalising same-sex relationships by way of a binding commitment. Though similar to marriage, in the (hopefully unlikely) event of a separation, Civil Partners or same sex spouses will need to obtain dissolution of a Civil Partnership or a Divorce for a same sex marriage. Before dissolution of a civil partnership or the divorce of a same-sex marriage, it is necessary for the financial aspects of the separation and arrangements for any children under the age of sixteen to be either agreed between the parties or determined by a court.
For a free initial discussion on how we can help you with same-sex relationship matters, including Civil Partnerships and Same-Sex Marriages, call our Inverness team of lawyers on 01463 795 035.
Frequently Asked Questions about Civil Partnership and Same-Sex Marriage
Civil partnerships were introduced in 2004 as a means of formalising same sex relationships in the form of a legally binding commitment. In the movement towards equality, it was a stepping stone towards the legalising of same sex marriage which eventually came in 2014 with the enactment of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014.
Civil partnerships and Same Sex Marriages are available to two individuals of the same sex only. It is not possible for heterosexual couples to enter either of type of relationship.
A civil partnership involves a civil procedure and there is no requirement of a ceremony to take place. Often a marriage involves a formal ceremony which can involve a religious ceremony.
For individuals who entered a Civil Partnership, it is possible for them to now convert their civil partnership into a marriage if they wish to do so. This has been possible since the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 was introduced. It is however not possible for same sex married couples to convert their marriage into a civil partnership.
The dissolution of a civil partnership is the term equivalent to a divorce of a marriage. The process is the same although the terminology is slightly different.
It is the legal termination of a civil partnership. Regardless of whether it is a Civil Partnership or a Same Sex Marriage, the rights of the parties in terms of the financial aspects of their separation remain the same and are the equivalent to those of married couples.
In terms of Civil Partnership and the grounds available for seeking a dissolution, this may only be obtain on the grounds of; Unreasonable behaviour, one year's non cohabitation with the consent of the other partner, or where the parties have been separated for a period in excess of two years.
In relation to a Same Sex Marriage, it is possible to seek a divorce on the grounds on any of the above grounds but also on the ground of Adultery.