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Civil Partnerships & Same-Sex Marriage

There are now more than 120,000 people in the UK in civil partnerships. The number of these partnerships ending in separation is increasing, with a 20% rise in civil partnership dissolutions in 2012.

Since March 2014, same-sex couples have been able to marry, and since December 2014 civil partners have been able to convert their civil partnership to marriage if they so wish.

If you’re in a civil partnership, or you’re thinking about formalising your relationship, our family law solicitors could help you with a range of legal issues, from pre-partnership agreements to separation. 

We have an excellent reputation for our work with same-sex couples. In 2013, Chambers & Partners, a leading independent legal guide, described us as “a market leader for advice to same-sex couples across the full range of family law, including children law”.

Our civil partnership solicitors are based in major cities across England and can advise same-sex couples on:

  • Marriage
  • Civil partnerships
  • Divorce 
  • Dissolution orders
  • Financial orders (to sort out how property or assets are shared in the event of a dissolution)
  • Pre-marital agreements 
  • Pre-partnership financial contracts
  • Parental responsibility orders
  • Issues surrounding children
  • Joint residence orders
  • Contact orders
  • Assisted reproduction & surrogacy

Our Approach To Resolving Disputes

With the first civil partnerships in the UK formed in 2005, it is becoming more common as time passes for same-sex couples to legally separate. If you are looking to end your civil partnership, we can guide you through the process. As with divorces, these disputes can end up in the courts but that is not the only option available.

Many of our family lawyers are trained mediators, so we may be able to help you and your former partner to reach an out-of-court agreement. If mediation is not the right option for you, we will support you through the court process and fight to achieve the best outcome for you. Whichever route you choose, we’ll give you clear explanations of what’s happening at every stage.

Why Choose Us?

Work with us and you will find that we have an excellent understanding of the issues faced by same-sex couples. As a law firm we are committed to supporting LGBT issues across the organisation and we have been ranked in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers index for three consecutive years.

Our family law team is widely regarded as one of the UK leaders. We specialise in providing expert advice in all areas of family law, including divorces and separations that affect children.

  • We have a large team of family law experts based in major cities across England.
  • We will explain the process clearly and keep you informed about what is happening at each stage.
  • We provide cost effective solutions tailored to your situation and will provide clear information about costs, allowing you to manage your outgoings.
  • Our experts achieve high rankings in independent guides to the legal profession.

What The Experts Say About Our Family Law Experts

We’re regularly ranked highly in the leading independent guides to the legal profession, Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

Legal 500 Leading Firm 2016

A "top-quality team" that is "very knowledgeable and compassionate" and "provides fantastic advice" - Legal 500, 2016


"Very caring and detailed approach - literally 24/7 client care." and "An amazing team - I fear for anyone who goes up against them." - Chambers & Partners, 2015

"Irwin Mitchell’s family law practice is ‘strong, professional and efficient', and acts for many professionals, such as doctors, dentists, accountants and solicitors." - Legal 500, 2014

"Described as 'tough, fair and pragmatic in trying to find solutions,' Irwin Mitchell has a record of success in challenging family cases. The group represents individuals going through divorce or ending civil partnerships, and lawyers frequently advise on unusual maintenance and contact cases." - Chambers & Partners, 2013

Contact Us For Expert Advice

If you need legal advice on divorce or the breakdown of a relationship, contact us. One of our experts will talk you through your options and help you decide on the best way forward.

Call us now on 0345 604 4911 or contact us online.

Please note that we do not deal with Legal Aid cases, with the only exception being in cases of child abduction.

Useful Documents

Download our guide to divorce and civil partnership dissolution.

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