top of page

How to end a Civil Partnership

Are you in an unhappy civil partnership and you want to know your options? We look at the process of how to end a civil partnership and what you need to know.

When any type of relationship breaks down, it can be a very stressful and emotional experience for the entire family. It’s important, therefore, to get the right legal advice early on, especially if you have children. There are many similarities to the process of getting a divorce, but with a few differences including the completion of a specific application form to the Court.

Dissolving a civil partnership

If you’re ready to dissolve your civil partnership, this is a legal process like a divorce. If you have children, and shared property and money, this can become complex and time-consuming. So, it’s important to discuss your situation with an experienced family solicitor beforehand, so you can divide money and property fairly. It’s important to remember that you are not alone, and there are many resources available to help you through this difficult time.

If you want to end your civil partnership, you must have been in the partnership for at least one year. Due to the recent divorce reforms, you no longer need to state a reason to end the partnership. Known as a “no fault” approach, you would make a sole or joint application to the Court, which can be done online or by post. At the time of writing, the application fee is £593.

Once you have submitted your application, the next step would be to get a conditional order. You will need to wait 20 weeks after submitting the application before you can apply for a conditional order. Once this has been granted, you will then need to wait a further 6 weeks to apply for the final order, which will end your civil partnership. At this stage, it’s important to have organised a financial agreement if you need to divide money and property.

My partner refuses to end our civil partnership

In some cases, especially when people are at risk of domestic abuse, a sole application would be made. If your partner does not agree to the dissolution, you can still apply for a conditional order. The Court will hold a hearing and the judge will decide whether the conditional order will be granted. Overall, the process is likely to take at least 6 months, so if you feel you are at risk from your partner, speak to our family lawyer.

Once the final order has been made for the dissolution, your civil partnership will have legally ended. Depending on your personal situation, there may be certain financial organisations and government departments that you will need to inform of the dissolution.

Tips for ending a civil partnership

Ending a civil partnership can be a difficult and emotional time. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process as smooth as possible:

  • Get legal advice. A family lawyer can help you understand the legal process and represent you in Court, if required. They will help you with any child arrangements, and financial agreements with regards to any shared property and money.

  • Communicate with your partner. It’s important to keep communicating with your partner throughout the entire process, if this is possible. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings and should make the process go more smoothly.

  • Be prepared for the emotional impact. Ending a civil partnership can be a highly emotional time for everyone involved, including children. It’s common to experience feelings of sadness, anger, and grief.

  • Seek support. There are many resources available, online and face to face, to help you through this difficult time. Whether you decide to talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or a support group, it may help to share your thoughts and feelings.

Whether you’re married or in a civil partnership, Salusbury Harding & Barlow has a specialist team of family lawyers, who can provide you with tailored advice. We will make the process of ending your civil partnership as smooth as possible with sensitive and sympathetic guidance. We can represent you in Court and organise financial agreements and child arrangements.

If you need advice on how to end a civil partnership, get in touch or email: to arrangea face-to-face or telephone appointment.



bottom of page