1. Ending a civil partnership

You can apply to end (‘dissolve’) your civil partnership if you’ve been in the partnership for at least a year.

Ending your civil partnership is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

How to end your civil partnership

You must send paperwork to a court to ask for permission to end your civil partnership.

Separate from the paperwork, you and your ex-partner need to work out:

You also need to divide your money and property. There’s a deadline if you want to make this legally binding.

You can usually avoid going to court hearings if you agree about children, money and property and the reasons for ending your civil partnership.

Get help agreeing on issues

You can use a mediator. Check if you can get legal aid to help pay for mediation.

You can also get advice on making agreements from:

Get your paperwork approved

There are 3 main steps to asking a court to approve your paperwork.

  1. File a dissolution petition - you have to apply to court for permission to end your civil partnership, and show reasons why you want to split up.

  2. Apply for a conditional order - if your civil partner agrees to the petition, you’ll get a document saying there’s no reason you can’t divorce.

  3. Apply for a final order - this legally ends your civil partnership - you need to wait 6 weeks after you get the conditional order before you can apply.