If your partner lacks mental capacity

You can apply to end your civil partnership if your partner ‘lacks mental capacity’ and cannot agree to end the civil partnership or take part in the process.

Your partner will need someone to make decisions for them during the process. The person who acts on their behalf is called a ‘litigation friend’. It can be a family member, close friend or someone else who can represent them.

Your partner doesn’t have a litigation friend

If there’s no one suitable and willing to be their litigation friend, you can apply to the court to appoint a litigation friend.

The Official Solicitor may agree to act as your partner’s litigation friend when there’s no one else to do this (‘litigation friend of last resort’).

How to apply

  1. Check there’s nobody else suitable or willing to act as your civil partner’s litigation friend.

  2. Check that there’s money available for any costs the Official Solicitor has to pay. Your civil partner may be able to get legal aid.

  3. Give the details of your civil partner’s doctor or other medical professional to the court so it can ask for a certificate of capacity.

After you apply

If the Official Solicitor agrees to act as litigation friend for your civil partner, you’ll be able to end your civil partnership.

Contact the Official Solicitor’s staff

Email or call the private family law team if you have an enquiry.

Official Solicitor - private family law team ospt.dsm@offsol.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 3681 2754
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