Throughout the week, MG Legal Solutions has been focusing on Family Law and the sub divisions that come with the laws. As well as divorce, it is equally important to look at civil partnerships and the dissolutions of said partnerships.
It is only in recent times that civil partnerships and dissolutions have become legal. In 1971, the Nullity of Marriage Act banned any form of marriage or partnership between same sex couples followed by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which stated that any marriage was void if the parties were not male and female respectively.
Since the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (which gave same sex couples the ability to make a legal commitment to each other) came into force, 120,908 civil partnerships have taken place. This act gave every civil partner the same rights as married opposite sex couples, in respect of property, inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits as well as others.
When looking at all of the figures gathered between 2006 and 2012, it can be said that in 2006, there were 18,059 couples who entered into a partnership within the first year the civil partnerships became possible. There is a drastic decline in numbers and from 2007 onwards, the numbers of civil partnerships being formed remained steady. They showed a slight dip in numbers in 2009 but started to rise again in 2010. Finally looking other research it has been found that in 2012, there were a slightly larger percentage of female civil partnerships (51%) conducted compared to men however this is the opposite in 2011, when there was a larger number of male civil partnerships in 2011.
Like marriage there only ground for dissolution is irretrievable breakdown. Since 2007, there have been 2477 dissolutions. Dissolution can be pronounced for 4 reasons, these being; behaviour of the respondent, 2 years separation by consent or 5 year separation and desertion by the respondent.
Research has been conducted looking into the amount of dissolutions which have taken place between 2007 and 2012. Research has shown, in 2012 that 794 dissolutions have taken place, 663 in 2011, 485 in 2010 and 329 in 2009, with 2007 and 2008 showing minimal dissolutions taking place. Looking further into this research it is also important to state that in 2012 there were 455 female partnership dissolutions and only 339 male partnerships being dissolved.
The typical age in which people dissolved their partnerships, it can be said that separation often occurs between the ages of 30 and 34, with women conducting the most dissolutions.
Looking into the future, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which has not come into force yet, gives same sex couples the ability to convert their partnership into a marriage giving them the same rights and responsibilities as opposite sex marriages. This is expected to come into effect mid-2014.