What rights does a civil partner have?
Civil partners have the same rights as married couples in the UK. A civil partnership is a legal relationship that can be registered by same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples. A civil partnership gives the couple's relationship legal recognition and gives them legal rights and responsibilities just as a marriage does.
Under a civil partnership, each partner has the right to purchase and keep any property, investment, or savings in their name. Likewise, any property that a civil partner owned prior to entering the partnership will still be regarded as theirs. However, if the partnership ends, any property owned will be considered when reaching a financial settlement.
If a partner in a civil partnership dies without making a Will, the surviving partner is entitled to inherit the deceased partner's property, assets, and possessions according to the rules of intestacy. If a civil partner dies and has written a Will, the beneficiaries will inherit any assets in accordance with the terms of the Will. If a deceased partner leaves all of their property to a surviving partner, the surviving partner does not have to pay Inheritance Tax.
Civil partners have equal rights to the matrimonial home, regardless of who purchased it. This is referred to as "home rights." In the event that the partnership fails, both partners have the right to remain in their home unless the court orders otherwise.
Parental responsibilities under a civil partnership
From the moment of birth, a mother is automatically responsible for her child. A man has parental responsibilities over any child born to a woman with whom he is in a civil partnership. Also, couples who are in a civil partnership have the right to seek parental responsibility for their partner's children.
If same-sex partners were civil partners at the time of donor insemination or fertility treatment, they would both have parental responsibility for the child. In the event of dissolution, a civil partner may be required to pay their partner and their partner's children reasonable maintenance.
Can civil partners get divorced?
No, when civil partners end their relationship, this is called dissolution. A civil partner must have been in the partnership for at least a year before they can apply to the court for a dissolution order. The process for dissolving a civil partnership is similar to the process for divorce.
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