Civil partnerships

Civil Marriage

The Civil Partnerships (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019, which extend eligibility for forming civil partnerships to opposite sex couples, were approved in Parliament and made on 5 November 2019.

A civil partnership is formed when a couple sign a document in the presence of a civil partnership registrar and two witnesses. Couples may choose to hold a ceremony alongside the legal signing. The cost is the same whether you hold a ceremony or choose to just attend with your witnesses to sign the schedule.

Civil partners will enjoy most of the same state pension rights as husbands and wives. Entitlement will further extend to schemes that currently pay survivor benefits to widows and widowers. Equal rights for civil partners will also extend into areas such as childcare and maintenance, property inheritance and life assurance.

In the event of the breakdown of a relationship, the dissolution of a civil partnership can be sought through due legal process. In such circumstances, the court will have the power to deal with any resulting matters of property division or maintenance.

Civil partnerships and conversions to marriage

In 2013 the government implemented the Marriage (same sex couples) Act which has since enabled couples who had entered into a civil partnership to convert their civil partnership into a marriage.

The conversion can take place in Wolverhampton, provided the civil partnership took place within England or Wales.

Once the civil partnership is converted to a marriage the civil partnership ends, and the couple are treated as having been married since the date that they originally entered into their civil partnership.

If you wish to convert your civil partnership into a marriage you have the option of a standard conversion appointment at the register office, or through a two stage procedure where you can have a ceremony at an approved venue of your choice, following the appointment at the register office. The two stages do not need to be completed on the same day.