Dissolving a civil partnership (England and Wales)

You must have been in a civil partnership for at least a year 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 GOV.UK website for more information about ending a civil partnership and how to file an application.

You will need to show that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. There are four grounds for ending your civil partnership:

  • unreasonable behaviour
  • desertion
  • you have lived apart for more than two years, or
  • you have lived apart for more than five years.

See the GOV.UK 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 must file a dissolution petition, apply for a conditional order and then apply for a final order.

The dissolution petition will cover all your basic information including proof of the partnership through a certificate or copy from a register office.

A conditional order is then sought, which, if accepted by both parties will go to a final order, otherwise a case management hearing will be scheduled where a judge can decide whether or not to grant a conditional order.

Then, six weeks after receiving a conditional order, you can apply for a final order, which is a legal document that ends your civil partnership. Upon receipt of the final order your civil partnership is ended.

Where can I get help or find out more?

For more information, see the GOV.UK and Citizens Advice websites in England and Wales.

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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