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Civil partnerships

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect on 5 December 2005 and makes it possible for couples of the same sex to legally form a partnership. A civil partnership is formed by the signing of a schedule and this is usually carried out as part of a ceremony. Find out all you need to know about how to form civil partnerships on GOV.UK

To fulfil legal requirements, couples need to give formal notice of their intention to register a civil partnership at the register office in the district where they live.

Appointments are necessary for both giving notice of intention to register a civil partnership and the registration itself.

In addition to registrations and ceremonies at the Medway Register Office, they may also take place at other venues which have been licensed. Fees vary depending on which venue is used.

Effects of registering a civil partnership

  • a duty to provide reasonable maintenance for a civil partner and any children of the family
  • the assessment of civil partners in the same way as spouses for child support
  • equitable treatment for the purposes of life assurance
  • employment and pension benefits
  • recognition under intestacy rules
  • access to fatal accidents compensation
  • recognition for immigration and nationality purposes

Couples are not able to register if

  • they are not of the same sex
  • either of them is already a civil partner or lawfully married
  • either of them is under 16
  • they are related to each other in ways specified by the Act

Convert a civil partnership into a marriage

From 10 December 2014 it has been possible to convert a civil partnership into a marriage.