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Converting a civil partnership to a Marriage

Cuba is set to become the latest country in Latin America to approve same-sex marriage after it signed off a new constitution defining marriage as ‘the consensual union of two people, regardless of gender’. This new constitution will be put to a referendum later this year and, as a law firm that is proud to have been a silver partner in the recent Hull Pride celebrations, we will be looking at this change in the law with some interest.

Meanwhile, in this country, the law relating to same-sex couples has already been established for many years, with the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Under this Act, same-sex couples can register a civil partnership which has almost the same rights and obligations as a marriage for mixed-sex couples does.

Under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples Act) 2013 a couple who have registered a civil partnership in England and Wales can convert this to a marriage. The process for doing this is relatively straightforward.

If this is an option you are interested in exploring, make an appointment to convert your civil partnership to a marriage at any register office in England and Wales. A simple conversion can be undertaken without a ceremony but if you would like a ceremony then you will need to tell the registrar.  

Legally, all that is required is that both people in a couple sign a declaration in the presence of the Superintendent Registrar or their deputy. If a couple decide to have a ceremony, then this can be held in a register office, any building approved for marriage or within the premises of a religious organisation that has agreed to hold marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

If you are considering marriage and would like some advice on any legal aspects of your union, our friendly family lawyers are here to help.

At the same time, there are times when all couples can find themselves experiencing difficulties and trauma within their relationship or marriage, and we can offer you advice and support if you feel a separation or divorce is the decision best for you and your family.

If you are contemplating divorce then please contact us on (01482) 225566 and have an informal free of charge initial chat with either Debbie or Sarah who can guide you through the process.

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