On 31 December 2019, opposite sex couples in England and Wales were finally allowed to enter into civil partnerships as an alternative to marriage.
This change in the law follows a ruling in June 2018 by the Supreme Court that the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. That Act only allowed same sex couples the right to enter into Civil Partnerships. This inequality originally derived from a time when same sex couples could not enter into marriage and civil partnerships were introduced as a political compromise.
On 2 October 2018, then Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the Government would change the law to allow opposite sex couples in England and Wales to enter into a civil partnership.
The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 were made on 5 November 2019 and came into force on 2 December 2019.
The Government has published a handy table which sets out the legal differences between marriage and civil partnerships for both opposite and same sex couples. The Government Equalities Office’s table.
You can read more about civil partnerships in our previous blog post 10 Interesting Facts About Civil Partnerships in the UK.
Opposite sex civil partnerships formed in England and Wales are recognised in many countries, but if you are going abroad you should seek advice about what rights you might have under the law of another country.Get Expert Advice You can contact us for confidential family law advice. We offer free, no obligation, telephone consultations for qualifying individuals. If you would like to book an initial phone consultation at no cost, please contact us today. Copyright 2013-2022 Rainscourt Law LLP. All rights reserved.