Dissolving a civil partnership (Northern Ireland)

You must have been in a civil partnership for at least two years before you can seek to officially dissolve it. You may not have to hire solicitors if you and your partner are able to agree privately on the reasons for separation, and on how you will split money, property and possessions. Visit the NI Direct website for more information about ending a civil partnership.

As with divorce, you will need to offer evidence that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. There are four grounds for ending your civil partnership:

  • unreasonable behaviour
  • desertion
  • two years separation with the consent of the other partner to dissolve the partnership
  • five years separation

See the NI Direct website for more detailed information about the grounds to ending a civil partnership.

How do I end a civil partnership?

To end a civil partnership you may apply to end it informally, but there are options to have it dissolved. A dissolution order can be granted by a court, but you must provide evidence of the breakdown of the relationship.

A separation order can be granted before the required two year period, but neither you nor your partner will be free to enter another civil partnership or marriage until a dissolution order is given.

A nullity means the court may end the partnership if it is considered void, meaning it does not, or did not meet the legal criteria to be considered a civil partnership.

Where can I get help or find out more?

For more information, including your housing rights and family mediation, go to NI Direct or Citizens Advice.

To find a solicitor or legal adviser in your area, go to the GOV.UK website.

The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

The RAF Benevolent Fund has a strong tradition of looking after the RAF Family in the UK and overseas. They support all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children. They provide access to free relationship counselling and subsidised mediation sessions for both the RAF veteran community and the RAF serving community. For more information, contact:

Telephone: 0800 169 2942
Email: WelfareServices@rafbf.org.uk
Website: The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

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