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Civil partnerships for heterosexual couples: what you need to know

Date:5 MAR 2020

As of 31st December 2019 it is now possible for both same-sex and heterosexual couples to enter into a civil partnership. The institution was initially devised solely for same-sex couples through the Civil Partnership Act 2004; it was meant to be a distinct separate relationship status for same-sex couples akin but different to a marriage. This has now changed and moving into 2020 heterosexual couples may opt for a civil partnership instead of a marriage.

There are a number of important points to note in view of this change in law. It is right to say that a civil partnership offers a genuine alternative for heterosexual couples to marriage; certainly in the key case of Steinfeld & Keidan the landmark case in this area the applicants emphasised the importance of couples having a secular alternative to marriage.

From a legal perspective couples who opt to enter into a civil partnership should consider a pre-partnership agreement. These agreements usually known as ‘pre-nups’ set out the terms of financial settlement on divorce and can now can be drafted to apply in the...

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