Court agrees TV star's civil partnership 'divorce'

Civil partnership divorce

27.10.2008

Little Britain star Matt Lucas has had his civil partnership with Kevin McGee dissolved less than two years after their "wedding" ceremony.

In an uncontested case at London's family court, Lucas was granted a dissolution order on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour by Mr McGee, a television researcher.

The order was granted at a brief hearing before District Judge Reid at the family court complex in High Holborn.

The couple exchanged vows in December 2006 after being together for three years. They threw a lavish pantomime-themed reception at Banqueting House in London, with guests including Sir Elton John, Barbara Windsor and singer Courtney Love.

The couple shared a £1.5 million home in north-west London, but their relationship broke down and they split 18 months after the ceremony.

Court documents indicated that the basis for the dissolution was Mr McGhee's behaviour, but did not specify the nature of his behaviour, merely stating that it was continuing.

The men are the first celebrity gay couple to dissolve a civil partnership.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Elizabeth Hicks from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "It is always sad when relationships break down, whatever the reason. There is however a process by which a couple can try and sort out the financial aspects of the marriage or civil partnership without going to court and in a conciliatory and amicable fashion. This is called Collaborative family law. It involves the couple with their lawyers discussing the case in a series of meetings without long letters being prepared. This can mean a resolution is achieved quicker than through the court process and more cost effectively than a contested financial hearing. If no agreement can be reached then the couple have to sack their lawyers and instruct new ones to go to court."