Civil partnership

Under the Civil Partnership Act of 2010 it is possible for same-sex couples to register a civil partnership.

Parties to a civil partnership must be age 18 or over.
Although there are some important differences the civil partnership act allows for a broadly similar range of rights and remedies as in marriage.
Only same-sex couples may register as civil partners.

Civil Partnership : Dissolution

Normally a civil partnership ends only on the death of a partner or on dissolution by a Court. To obtain a decree of dissolution the partners must have lived apart for a period of at least two out of  the previous three years and the court must be satisfied that proper provision is made for both partners.

Cohabiting couples

Cohabitation is a term which describes two people living together of either the same or opposite sexes who have or have had an exclusive sexual relationship but who are not married to each other or living in a registered civil partnership.

The Act gives protection to an economically dependent party of the same sex or opposite sex couple at the end of a long-term cohabiting relationship. The Act applies to couples who have lived together for 5 years where there are no children of that relationship, or a 2 years period if there are children.