Civil Partnerships and the 7 Year Itch by Randal Buckley - The Law House Family Law Solicitors, London & Peterborough


Civil Partnerships and the 7 Year Itch by Randal Buckley

By in All Blogs, Family Law Category on October 30th, 2013

The excellent Office of National Statistics this month produced a release titled: Trends in Civil Partnerships. You can see the full release here.

The introduction of Civil Partnerships in 2005 was an enormous step forward in offering LGBT people equal treatment by the law.  It was also an enormous step in the dark by the government because, apart from celebrity announcements by the likes of Elton John and David Furnish who registered their civil partnership on the first available day, there was no way of knowing how many couples would seek this legal recognition of their relationship.  The Government Equalities Office estimated that there would be between 11,000 and 22,000 civil partners by 2010 and this turned out to be a vast under-estimate when 13,644 people registered their civil partnership in the first 4 months they became available. Including provisional figures for 2012, the ONS says there have been 60,454 civil partnerships formed since December 2005.

Civil Partnerships are not ended by divorcing but rather dissolution. There have been 1,807 dissolutions since December 2005 (including 41 in 2007!) meaning just under 3% of Civil Partnerships have ended in dissolution. The ONS says in the release that apart from the initial spike when civil partnerships first became available, the number of dissolutions have increased in proportion to the increasing numbers of people forming civil partnerships.  The procedure for dissolution is nearly identical to that of divorce and the financial proceedings follow the same principles.

So, it seems unlike the telegraph article here, the 20% rise in dissolutions is not a result of the myth of the “7 year itch” but merely a predictable increase consistent with the rise of LGBT seeking this legal recognition.

In anticipation of the introduction of LGBT marriage in the summer of 2014, the ONS has launched a consultation aimed at making statistics as useful as possible (perhaps best for journalists) and if you wish you can participate here.

If you would like any more information about the registration of a civil partnership, your forthcoming marriage and a pre-marital agreement, or if your relationship is in trouble and you are considering separation/dissolution please contact Randal Buckley at The Law House on 020 89956 2655 or email sbedford@thelawhouse.com.