By Spencer Clarke, Forsters LLP. A lesbian couple is apparently seeking the first dissolution of their civil partnership. Their relationship ended 3 months after the registration of their civil partnership at Ashford Register Office in Kent in February 2006. As with heterosexual marriage, it is not possible to apply for dissolution before a year has elapsed from the date of the formation of the civil partnership. Therefore, the couple will not be able to dissolve their civil partnership until February 2007. Heterosexual couples can cite adultery as a fact but adultery was omitted in the Civil Partnership Act 2004 from the list of facts proving irretrievable breakdown of the relationship because it is defined as sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex, other than the spouse, during the marriage.
Although, the couple cannot apply for a dissolution order before a year has elapsed from the date of the formation of the civil partnership, either could apply, within the year, for a separation order (akin to judicial separation) on the basis of the same facts as would be put forward to support an order for dissolution, and the same financial relief would be available. See July  Fam Law for the full news article.