Civil Partnerships Open to All

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan have today won the right to enter into a Civil Partnership rather than get married.

You may recall their campaign to enter into a Civil Partnership with each other suffered a huge setback in February last year when the Court of Appeal refused permission. In a historic landmark judgment, the Supreme Court has today disagreed with the Court of Appeal.

Today’s decision will affect the 33 million or so cohabiting couples living in England and Wales.

So what exactly is Civil Partnership?

Civil Partnerships were set up by statute in 2004 to allow same-sex couples living together to enter into a Partnership. Civil Partnerships afford the same financial security as married couples enjoy should the relationship break down. In 2013, however, same-sex marriage was legalised. Same-sex couples could thus either enter into a Civil Partnership or marry whilst heterosexual couples could only do the latter.

Marriage today can seem, for some, an outdated institution with its roots firmly set in property and patriarchy. Today’s judgment enables all couples to partner up in whichever manner they wish, be it by entering into a Civil Partnership or marrying.

As a word of warning, you cannot presume to be in a Civil Partnership if you remain living together. You will need to actively enter into such a Partnership.

If you would like to discuss your options with our dedicated solicitors, do get in touch.