Civil partnerships

The Civil Partnerships Act provides the same legal benefits and responsibilities for same-sex couples, as heterosexual married couples. The procedure for setting up a partnership mirrors that of a civil marriage.

If you are in a same-sex couple you can:

  • register your partnership (Civil Partnerships Act 2005)
  • register your marriage
  • convert your civil partnership to a marriage. This is for civil partnerships that took place before to 29 March 2014.

Religious ceremonies

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 states that civil partnership ceremonies must be secular. They cannot have any religious content, wording or music. You can arrange a separate religious blessing ceremony after the formation ceremony. It must take place in a separate venue. This is a matter between you and the religious celebrant.

Giving notice of civil partnership

You need to provide a notice of civil partnership before your partnership is formed in the UK. This is a legal declaration which you and your partner must complete. The details of your notice will be displayed on the public notice board at the register office. They will be on display there for a period of 28 days. View more information on giving notice of civil partnerships.