Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
Resolution issues Brexit notes for family lawyers ahead of IP completion day
Family lawyer organisation, Resolution, has issued two joint notes to assist family lawyers in England and Wales ahead of the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period at 11 pm on 31 December...
Online filing is real-time on New Year's Eve: practice direction change to accommodate EU withdrawal arrangements
I have heard that there will be an amendment to the relevant practice directions to provide that online applications received on New Year’s Eve after 4:30 PM and before 11:00 PM will count as...
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v AB
The issue in this case concerned AB’s capacity to make specific decisions about treatment relating to her anorexia nervosa. She was 28 years old and had suffered with anorexia since the age of...
EU laws continue until at least 2038 and beyond
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020.  But in matters of law it fully leaves on 31 December 2020.  But EU laws will continue to apply, and be applied, in the English family courts from 1...
Remote hearings in family proceedings – how is justice perceived?
The motion for the recent Kingsley Napley debate:  “This House believes remote hearings are not remotely fair” was carried with a fairly balanced 56% in favour and 44% against....
View all articles

Dr Jens M Scherpe: Legal Recognition of Foreign Formalised Same-Sex Relationships in the UK

Sep 29, 2018, 16:13 PM
Slug : dr-jens-m-scherpe-legal-recognition-of-foreign-formalised-same-sex-relationships-in-the-uk
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Dec 12, 2007, 11:42 AM
Article ID : 85011

Dr Jens M Scherpe, University of Cambridge

Same-sex couples in the UK can formalise their relationship since the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect on 5 December 2005. The legal consequences of a civil partnership with a few exceptions are very much the same as those of marriage, and indeed civil partnership has been called a marriage in everything but name (see Sir Mark Potter P in Wilkinson v Kitzinger (No 2) [2006] EWHC 2022 (Fam), [2007] 1 FLR 295, at para [88]: 'marriage in all but name' and Baroness Hale of Richmond, 'Homosexual Rights' [2004] CFLQ 125: 'marriage in almost all but name'). Thus the UK has joined the group of countries that have created a separate legal regime for same-sex couples which is the functional equivalent of marriage. In this group we find, inter alia, the Nordic Countries, Germany and Switzerland. Other countries, such as The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada and South Africa, have gone another way and opened up marriage to same-sex couples. But there also is a group of countries in which a separate legal regime exists that is deliberately constructed in a way that it is not the functional equivalent to marriage and that is open to both same-sex and opposite sex-couples. This is the case, for example, in France, where the pacte civile de solidarité currently is the only way for same-sex couples to formalise their relationship but also open to opposite-sex couples, and Belgium, where the cohabitation légale is an alternative open to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Here the legal consequences deriving from the formalisation of the relationship are of much lesser intensity than those of marriage, particularly in relation to property consequences of separation, possible maintenance claims and the formalities required for a separation.

So, in principle, there are three different approaches to formalised same-sex relationships to be found: the first two (marriage and functional equivalent) have more or less the same legal consequences; the third model, however, is deliberately set up to be quite distinct from marriage in terms of its legal consequences. Sections 212ff of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 deal with 'overseas relationships' and, inter alia, lay down conditions for when such formalised relationships are to be treated as civil partnerships in the UK, either because they meet the general conditions (s 214) or because they are listed in Sch 20 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004, which already has been amended a few times, in light of developments in other jurisdictions. Surprisingly, the Schedule now lists foreign legal regimes for formalised same-sex relationships that fall into all of the three categories listed above, which creates four sorts of problems.

For the full article, see November [2007] International Family Law.

To log on to Family Law Online or to request a free trial click here.

Categories :
  • Articles
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from