The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 legalised marriages between same sex couples from March 2014.
What is the difference between a Civil Partnership and a Marriage?
There is very little difference between a marriage and a Civil Partnership. However there are some differences when looking at their legal rights.
Married couples cannot call themselves civil partners for legal purposes and likewise civil partners cannot call themselves married again for legal purposes;
Marriages are solemnized by saying a prescribed form of words. Whereas Civil Partnerships are registered by signing the civil partnership documents, no words are required to be spoken;
Marriages can be conducted through either a civil ceremony, or a religious ceremony if the religious organisation has agreed to solemnize marriages of same sex couples according to its rites. However the formation of a civil partnership is an entirely civil event;
A marriage can be annulled for the following reasons:
If either party did not validly consent to the marriage;
If either party was suffering from a mental disorder of such a kind as to render them unfit for marriage;
If at the time of the marriage the respondent was suffering from a venereal disease in a communicable form;
If the respondent was pregnant at the time of the marriage by some person other than the petitioner.
A civil partnership cannot be annulled if at the time of the marriage the respondent was suffering from a venereal disease in a communicable form;
Non –consummation of marriage is not a ground for annulment in same sex marriages or in Civil Partnerships;
Marriage is ended by divorce, by obtaining a decree absolute. Whereas Civil partnerships are ended by a dissolution order;
Adultery only applies to marriages. The definition of adultery is sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex outside of the marriage;
If a civil partner dies then the pension that the other partner receives will be lower and will last for a shorter period of time;
It is very important to ensure that you are fully aware of which contract you are entering into. They may seem similar if you were to attend a Registry Office but they can impact on your legal rights. AFG LAW can advise clients in respect of these matters.
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