Number of Civil Partnership Dissolutions In Significant Rise

Family Lawyer Says Statistics Mirror Divorce With All Couples Most Vulnerable In First 10 Years Of Marriage


By Dave Grimshaw

Family lawyers say a sudden rise of civil partnership dissolutions is no surprise and mirrors the general trends in divorce with couples being most vulnerable in their first 10 years of marriage.

Since Civil Partnerships were introduced in 2005 over 60,000 couples have formalised their relationships but the number of dissolutions in England and Wales rose from 663 in 2011 to 794 last year – an increase of 20%.

Alison Hawes, a specialist family lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, which has offices across the country, said:

Expert Opinion
The number of civil partnerships that have taken place is reaching a substantial critical mass now and it is expected that these relationships will follow the general trends of marriage and divorce.

It is a common generalisation that there is a seven-year itch when relationships supposedly become more difficult. In reality, it is often a few years into relationships that couples think about separating as things may not have worked out as planned. The statistics show that the first 10 years are the most vulnerable in a marriage, and the same seems to be true of civil partnerships.”
Alison Hawes, Partner

Figures from the Office for National Statistics also showed that same sex female couples are more likely to dissolve civil partnerships than gay men – something lawyers said also mirrored straight couples with more women than men filing for divorce

The number of civil partnerships also rose year-on-year with over 7,000 carried out last year.

Alison added: “The issue of same sex marriage has been heavily debated over the past 18 months so again it is no surprise that  there is until further legislation civil partnerships will continue to remain popular.

“However with the number of dissolutions on the rise it is perhaps time for couples to consider pre-civil partnership agreements which will allow them to agree a split of assets in the event of the relationship breaking down.

“This is particularly important where there is a high value of assets or uneven wealth between the two parties.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Family and Divorce Law.