Same Sex Marriage and Civil Partnership Lawyers Glasgow
Family Law Glasgow advise on all aspects of same sex marriage and civil partnerships. Contact our friendly solicitors today to find out how we can help you. You can call us on 0141 413 0527 or complete our online enquiry form.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 allowed same sex couples to marry. This creates the same legal relationship as an opposite sex couple enjoy and means that if you are seeking to end the relationship you may be considering a separation agreement or a divorce.
A civil partnership allows for the creation of a legal relationship between parties of the same sex. This relationship is a legal one that brings legal consequences similar to marriage. In Scotland, same sex couples are in a position to enter into a civil partnership as long as both parties are over 16, not married and not in an existing civil partnership. A civil partnership requires to be registered. It should also be noted that the legal consequences of entering into a civil partnership come into effect as soon as the civil partnership schedule is signed at the ceremony.
Same Sex Marriage
Since the introduction of same sex marriage, marriage has overtaken civil partnerships in popularity. Many couples who entered into civil partnerships in the past are now deciding to convert their civil partnership into a marriage. This can be done in an administrative way or by ceremony.
What are the Legal Consequences of Entering into a Civil Partnership?
Civil partnership allows same sex couples to enjoy many of the legal rights that are created by marriage. So, while not identical, a civil partnership creates rights such as:
- Legal rights to parts of your partner's estate in the event of their death – even if no will exists to that effect
- You will be recognised as next of kin
- Rights to your partner's pension scheme in the event of their death
- The obligation to support each other financially
- The ability to claim against a person who caused the death of your partner through a wrongful act
The decision to enter into a civil partnership is an exciting one, but also one that should be taken with full knowledge of the legal consequences. Our team of friendly family lawyers are routinely asked to provide practical advice to couples considering entering into a civil partnership. We take pride in working closely with our clients to provide comprehensive legal counsel on the consequences of entering into a civil partnership, delivered by a friendly and supportive team.
What Grounds Exist to End a Civil Partnership?
Like any relationship, a civil partnership can come to an end due to one or both parties not wishing the partnership to continue. Given that this is a legal relationship, certain legal procedures must be followed and an application made to the Sheriff Court for dissolution of the partnership. In order for dissolution to take place, “irretrievable breakdown” requires to be established. Proving one of the following grounds shows this:
- “Unreasonable behaviour” – behaviour by one party which makes it unreasonable to expect the other party to continue to be in the relationship. This can include a wide range of behavior, such as physical or mental abuse
- Parties have not lived together for 12 months and both consent to the partnership ending
- Parties have not lived together for 24 months and only one party wants a dissolution
- For married couples, adultery is a specific ground of divorce. For same sex couples, sexual infidelity would be included in the “unreasonable behaviour” ground for dissolution.
At the time of granting dissolution, the court can also rule on such matters as division of property, child residence and contact arrangements, as it would in relation to a contested divorce. However, most parties are able to reach some agreement about such issues, so that the court does not have to intervene. Our section on separation agreements covers how our solicitors can assist you in the early stages of separation.
It is very important to understand that as is the case when a couple are seeking a divorce, before it will agree to dissolve a civil partnership, a court will be particularly anxious to ensure that the interests of any children that a couple have together are well represented. Regardless of the basis for which the dissolution of the civil partnership is sought, the court will look to ensure that a child is able to maintain a relationship with both of its parents wherever possible. A couple will be encouraged to come to their own arrangements in respect of this, but a court will make its own decision through the use of contact and residence orders should the need arise.
Contact Glasgow Civil Partnership Solicitors Today
Austin Lafferty Solicitors are very proud of being able to provide legal advise on all aspects of the law that applies to family life. Please feel free to contact us for advice on divorce, separation agreements and civil partnership dissolution.
Call us on 0141 413 0527 or complete our online enquiry form.