Civil Partnership Dissolution

A civil partnership gives same sex couples the same legal rights pertaining to issues such as tax, pensions, inheritance, state benefits and immigration as are enjoyed by married couples.

However, as with marriages, civil partnerships can break down to a point where you, your partner or both of you wish to dissolve the partnership. At Forbes, we understand how emotionally turbulent and challenging this breakdown can be and so we offer compassionate, sympathetic legal support whether you're the one petitioning to dissolve the civil partnership (the Petitioner) or the party answering it (the Respondent).

We can talk you through all of your options and guide you through the process to minimise the stress you''re going through at this difficult time. Our expert divorce and family law solicitors can assist with all civil partnership dissolution paperwork as well as helping you and your partner to reach agreements on how property, possessions and money will be divided and as how you'll take care of any children. We will also advise on the type of civil partnership dissolution you can opt for.

Dissolution orders

A dissolution order dissolves the civil partnership completely. Before you can apply to the court for a dissolution order, your civil partnership must have lasted at least one year and you must be able to prove that the relationship has 'irretrievably' broken down. This could be because:

  • Your partner has demonstrated unreasonable behaviour towards you or your children, such as abuse, financial irresponsibility, excessive drinking or adultery.
  • You and your partner have lived apart for two years and both agree to the dissolution order.
  • You and your partner have lived apart for five years, and only one of you agrees to the dissolution order.
  • You were deserted by your partner at least two years ago.

The expert team of solicitors at Forbes will be able to guide you through filing a petition, obtaining a conditional order and applying for a final order, as well as helping you and your partner agree on the terms of the split. We will also ensure that provision is made to take care of any children and that things are settled in their best interest.


A more rare form of dissolution is an annulment, which means that the civil partnership was never legal. This could happen, for instance, where one or more of the partners was under 16 or was in a civil partnership with or married to someone else. In cases when the court grants an annulment, they may declare your civil partnership:

  • Void – the civil partnership was never legal and therefore never existed.
  • Voidable – the civil partnership was legal at the time of registration but is now no longer legal.

If you wish to apply for an annulment, our divorce and family law solicitors can assist you and help you decide whether it's the right course for you or if a dissolution order would be a better option.

As well as offering a compassionate service, Forbes also understands that going through civil partnership dissolution can be a financially stressful time. That's why we offer both a tailored service for private paying clients, and a fixed fee service for more straightforward cases. We also offer legal advice for those eligible for Legal Aid.

If you are going through the breakdown of your civil partnership and want advice on how to proceed, contact us on Freephone 0800 689 1058 to speak to one of our divorce and family law solicitors, or use or online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

16 Apr 2019



Not Complying with Court Orders can be Expensive!

Read the article

Solicitor Alex Reid is 'always up to speed with issues on her cases and can recall a significant amount of detail easily'.

2018 - 19 Edition Legal 500

More clients

Gill Carr 'combines technical expertise with a powerful punch in court'

2018 - 19 Edition Legal 500

More clients

Shirley Wignall adopts a 'shrewd and common-sense approach- she is a force of nature with a reputation for being able to handle the most demanding clients in the most difficult situations'

2018 - 19 Edition Legal 500

More clients

Head of team Rubina Vohra is 'excellent and has a team that works hard to support clients extremely well'.

2018 - 19 Edition Legal 500

More clients

Forbes Solicitors provides a 'very personable and caring service'. It is a 'well organised team with a core of highly experienced practitioners'.

2018 - 19 Edition Legal 500

More clients

Make an enquiry