Gay Marriage Another Step Closer

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There has been another step forward by the Government in the pursuit to allow gay  marriages.  At the moment, the legislation only allows civil partnerships.  The definition of gay marriage is a marriage between two persons of the same biological sex and/or gender identity.  The definition of a civil partnership is a legal relationship, exclusively for same sex couples, distinct from marriage.  The supporters of such marriages are seeking to have marriage equality, with those who are in a heterosexual relationship.  The main difference between marriage and civil partnership is the terminology and wording.  For example, if a marriage breaks down, divorce can be applied for.  If a civil partnership breaks down, dissolution is applied for.  

There is now a leading argument to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples, which is a further level of argument for equality for all.

The impact of both civil partnership and marriage, is to allow the couple to have certain rights.  It binds them into a contract with each other.  It allows some financial relief during the marriage and a claim for financial remedy after the end of a relationship.  Financial relief and claims are not automatically available to couples who merely cohabit and do not enter into either civil partnership or a marriage. 

Either way, most couples who take the step of marriage or civil partnership do so for romantic reasons as they wish to declare their love for each other.  They don’t always think of the consequences, of a relationship breakdown.  For those who want to plan for all events, there is an option of a pre-nuptial agreement.  This has to be entered into willingly by the couple. 

Despite common myths, pre-nuptial agreements are readily used by couples with modest assets and are becoming increasingly more common in the UK largely due to the Family Courts placing greater emphasis on these documents in the event of Divorce.

A Prenuptial Agreement, also known as a ‘Pre Nup’, might not seem particularly romantic but is often the best way to be clear on how assets are to be divided in the event of Divorce. They can often save the time and more importantly the cost of an acrimonious Divorce settlement. Whilst Prenups are not binding, recent case law demonstrates how the Courts are placing greater importance upon them.

Rubina Vohra

About Rubina Vohra

Rubina Vohra is a solicitor within the Family department at Forbes Solicitors. Rubina’s blogs cover her specialisms of all aspects of marriage breakups and separation with a heavier slant towards divorce, children and finances. Rubina also writes about changes in the law and report on topical/current high profile cases.
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