Civil partnerships and dissolution after 6 April 2022

So what happens when no fault divorce becomes law in April?

A civil partnership is a legal relationship that 2 people enter into, they can be an opposite sex couple or a same sex couple but they can not be related to each other.

Entering into and registering a civil partnership provides a couple with added legal rights to each other.

The civil partnership can only be ended by death or by asking a court for a legal dissolution, this is called a dissolution order.

Civil partners can’t ask for a “divorce”, only married couples can do that. At the moment, to dissolve a civil partnership, it is still necessary to prove that the relationship has irretrievably broken down. This means that certain grounds must be set out and it can cause unnecessary acrimony. However, as with divorce, this is all about to change with the new “No Fault Divorce” rules coming into force on 6th April 2022.

As from April 2022, it will be possible to obtain a dissolution order without having to blame the other person for the breakdown of the relationship. It will even be possible to make a joint application for dissolution which means that couples can have an amicable end to their relationship.

The no fault divorce process will deal with the paperwork to end a relationship but the financial issues and arrangements for any children still need to be discussed. If an agreement on these issues can be reached then no one will need to go to court. So, how do you reach an agreement and stay out of court and save on legal fees?

One way is to use family mediation. This is a process where, in meetings (which can be virtual or face to face), you discuss everything together and with the help of a mediator so that you can reach an agreement and avoid court. If you need a court order, then the agreement discussed in mediation can be used to create a legally binding document which is then signed by everyone and sent to the court for approval by a Judge. No one will need to physically attend court if it is an order about the financial arrangements.  

There are different types of mediation which can be used to help you reach an agreement. There is the traditional mediation model where you meet with the mediator together, shuttle mediation where you meet with the mediator separately, hybrid mediation where your lawyer can be involved and child inclusive mediation where the mediator can meet with children so they feel that they have had a voice in the process (where relevant and appropriate).

If you are in a civil partnership and would like to know more about how we can help you separate amicably please do book a free call via the booking page on our website, email us on or call us on 0800 206 2258.



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