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Family law

Civil partnership - I want to get a civil partnership dissolution

What should I do before I start a dissolution petition?
You cannot start a petition for dissolution unless you have been in a civil partnership for more than one year.

Make sure that you have either your original civil partnership certificate or you have obtained a certified copy civil partnership certificate from the Registrar in the district you entered into the civil partnership.

Where do I start my dissolution petition?
You can start your petition in any Civil Partnership Proceedings County Court or in the Principal Registry in London.

The nearest Civil Partnership Proceedings County Court to our offices is in Birmingham.

When are Civil Partnership Proceedings County Courts open?
Monday to Friday, between 10am and 4pm.

The Principal Registry is open Monday to Friday, between 10am
and 4.30pm.

How much will it cost and how can I pay the fee?
You may have to pay a Court fee (the Court or your solicitor will advise you of current fees payable).

However, your financial situation may mean that you do not have to pay the fee. The Court or your solicitor will ask you to complete a fee exemption form to see whether you are eligible not to pay the Court fee.

What information and documents do I need?
You will need to provide:

  • Your full name and address;
  • Your civil partner’s full name and address;
  • A copy of your civil partnership certificate (not a photocopy);
  • The names and dates of birth of any living children you have, no matter how old they are.

Which forms will I need?
You will need three copies of the dissolution petition. If you have any children you will also need three copi es of the stat ement of arrangements for children. One copy of the forms is for you to keep, one copy is for the Court and one copy is for the Court to send to your civil partner.

Will I be able to fill in the forms myself?
The form notes should help you fill in the forms. However, your solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau will help you.

What will happen when the Court receives my forms?
You will receive a notice of issue of petition which will tell you when the petition was sent to your civil partner (the Respondent in the dissolution).

The Court will post a copy of your petition with an acknowledgement of service form to the Respondent, together with a copy of the statement of arrangements form for any children.

The Respondent then has 8 days to return the acknowledgment of service form to the Court. The 8 days start on the day after their receive the petition. They will have longer to reply if they live outside of England or Wales.

How will I know when the Respondent gets the petition?
The Court will send a copy to you (or to your solicitor).

What happens then?
The Respondent may do one of three things:

  • Ignore the petition and not bother to return the acknowledgement of service form;
  • Fill in the acknowledgment of service form contesting the petition and/or the Court's jurisdiction and return it;
  • Fill in the acknowledgment of service form saying they agree with the petition and return it.

What happens if the Respondent does not return the Acknowledgment of service form?

  • You can arrange for the Court bailiff to serve them; or
  • You can use a private process server.

If you have any questions or need any further advice, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

 

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