Dissolution of Civil Partnerships

Professional, specialist legal advice for couples looking to dissolve a Civil Partnership

If your civil partnership has broken down, or you and your partner are encountering difficulties, we appreciate this can be a very stressful time. However, it is important that you seek expert legal advice regarding a number of issues including in respect of financial assets and arrangements for children. If a decision has been made that your relationship is at an end, this advice can also include guiding you through the dissolution process.

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What is a Dissolution?

A civil partnership affords similar rights and responsibilities to you and your partner to those of a married couple. As a result, civil partners are regarded the same as married couples if proceedings are brought to dissolve the civil partnership, although there are some procedural differences, so it is often important that you seek legal assistance.

As in divorce proceedings, a dissolution can be sought after one year of being in the partnership. To be eligible for a dissolution, the person seeking to dissolve the partnership must state one of the following grounds has occurred :

  • Unreasonable behaviour - there are many ways in which this ground could be applicable to you and it does not always require serious allegations of conduct to be raised.
  • Separation for a period of 2 years, if your partner consents to the dissolution.
  • Desertion or Separation for a period of 5 years with or without consent from your spouse.

If you are unsure about the grounds of a dissolution, the process, or the effect a dissolution may have upon financial assets or children, please contact our expert legal team who will be on hand to provide you with the advice and guidance you may need.

Our team includes professionals who are experienced in this area of law and we can help you navigate what can be a stressful and upsetting time in your life.

What is the dissolution process?

In many ways the process is similar to divorce for married couples, but there are some differences and so it is important that you seek expert legal advice.

As in divorce, the process will begin with a petition, setting out why it is felt that a dissolution should occur. This is an important document for many reasons and our legal team can provide you with the support and guidance you need to ensure the petition is prepared correctly.

There are various stages to the dissolution process, but at the appropriate time the court will issue a conditional order if it is satisfied a dissolution should be granted and if the procedure has been correctly followed. The final stage of the process is the final order officially dissolving the partnership

How Long Does a Dissolution Take?

Timescales in dissolution proceedings can vary for a number of different reasons. If there are no unexpected delays, the process may be completed in 6-8 months.

What happens if my partner dies?

In the event that your civil partner should unexpectedly pass away the same rights will apply to you as those of a married couple. This means that you have a claim to your partners estate and you may be entitled to inheritance, even if dissolution proceedings have begun.

Our Family Law Specialists

Clare Peckett, Director & Family Law Solicitor

Clare Peckett

Director & Solicitor

Allan Layfield, Director & Family Law Solicitor

Allan Layfield

Director, Solicitor & Collaborative Lawyer

Toby Netting, Family Law Solicitor, Switalskis

Toby Netting

Solicitor & Collaborative Lawyer

Alison Kitchman, Family Law Solicitor

Alison Kitchman

Solicitor & Collaborative Lawyer

Andrew Baines, Family Mediator

Andrew Baines

Solicitor & Family Mediator

Louise Ryder Family Solicitor Switalskis

Louise Ryder


Chris Preston, Consultant Family Law Solicitor, Switalskis

Chris Preston

Consultant Solicitor

Judith Glynn, Consultant Family Solicitor - Switalskis

Judith Glynn

Consultant Solicitor

Sharron Hardman Solicitor - Family Law - Switalskis

Sharron Hardman

Solicitor & Collaborative Lawyer

Samantha Downes


Catherine Cain


Maariyah Badat

Trainee Solicitor

How can Switalskis help me?

Our team of family law solicitors realise that every case is unique, offering a friendly and sensitive service. We will guide you through the whole process and ensure that you are informed of every update. Our legal experts have experience in handling many varied dissolutions.

Arrange your free consultation with a family lawyer today at one of our 11 Yorkshire offices by calling 0800 138 0458, or by contacting us through the website.

What our clients say

"Thank you for all the valuable advice you gave me through my most difficult time and for helping me to achieve some closure."

Family Law Client

"I was very happy with the service provided and the way my case was handled."

Family Law Client

"They made sure I knew what the next steps were at each part of the process and made sure I was fully informed every step of the way. They were also very proactive in following up paperwork with the other solicitors on my behalf."

Family Law Client