News | December 4, 2019

Mixed-sex civil partnership union begins

From Monday 2 December 2019, mixed-sex couples in England and Wales can choose to enter into a civil partnership rather than get married. The first ceremonies won’t take place until 31 December.

Marriage is not the right fit for many couples. This is evidenced by the fact that there are approximately 3.3 million cohabiting couples. The problem with the current law on cohabitation is that there isn’t one. The law treats cohabitants on relationship breakdown as two unrelated individuals. This means that no account is taken of their relationship, whether financial or other contribution in order to determine a fair outcome between them on separation or death. This is despite many couples being in long-term relationships and/or having children together: the result often being an unfair outcome.

Civil partnerships provide not only the legal status but also the financial protection.

In the Netherlands, which first made civil partnerships available in 1998, they make up a quarter of all opposite-sex unions.

The government estimates there could be as many as 84,000 ceremonies in England and Wales within the first year. Mixed -sex civil partnerships not only provide equality of choice but most importantly protects family life.