Spouses in a same-sex relationship go through the same process for divorce as couples of the opposite sex. To apply for a divorce, you will need to file a divorce application online through the divorce portal or fill in a divorce application form (D8) to start the process and pay a £593 fee. For all couples seeking a divorce, before you make an application, you have to have been legally married for over a year, with your relationship permanently breaking down during that time.
With the introduction of no-fault divorce, the process is a lot simpler as couples no longer have to prove that one partner was to blame for the end of the relationship. One partner can make a sole application, or you can both submit a joint application. All you will need is your and your partner’s full name and address, as well as the original marriage certificate. If you have changed your name since the start of the marriage, you will have to provide proof of your name change. If it is a sole application, you have to include your partner’s current address so that they can receive a copy of the divorce application.
Once you have made the application, you have to wait 20 weeks to apply for a conditional order and then wait at least 43 days after the date of the conditional order to apply for a final order. If your partner disputes the divorce, they will have to fill out an ‘answer form’ explaining why, but they must have a genuine legal reason.
If you are in a civil partnership, the process of ending the partnership is similar to the divorce process. Like a no-fault divorce, your civil partnership must have lasted over a year for you to apply to dissolve the partnership. After you have applied, you have to wait 20 weeks, and then you can apply for a conditional order which shows that the court sees no reason why the partnership cannot end. Six weeks after the date of the conditional order, you can apply for the final order, which is the legal document ending the civil partnership.