In England, two individuals, either of the same-sex or opposite-sex, can enter a civil partnership, which then applies additional legal rights and responsibilities to their relationship.
You can register for a civil partnership if you are both aged 16 or over, although if you are under 18, you will need to have written consent from your parents or guardians.
Deciding if a civil partnership is right for you
Ahead of entering a civil partnership, you must consider if this would be the right decision for you and your partner.
As mentioned, becoming civil partners gives you some valuable legal rights, which unmarried or non-civil partnered couples that live together do not have.
Many of these benefits are the same as those that accompany marriage, without being required to have a marital ceremony.
For instance, you and your civil partner will be recognised as each other’s next of kin.
Alongside this, you will benefit from the same tax benefits as a married couple when it comes to Inheritance Tax (IHT), due to automatically inheriting your partner’s estate in the event of their death if a Will does not exist.
What happens if the partnership ends?
Whilst it may not be at the forefront of your mind, entering a civil partnership is a big commitment and you may decide that you want to protect your assets in case the relationship breaks down.
Similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, you can choose to outline your obligations if the partnership ends, through a pre-registration agreement.
This can also cover your obligations to each other over the course of the partnership.
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