This is one of the most common questions that gets asked, and there is some confusion as to how a civil partnership differs from a marriage…
In a nut shell, a marriage takes the form of either a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony (non-religious), which can take place between heterosexual or same sex couples.
A civil partnership can only take place between same sex couples and does not require a ceremony. Nor do the couple need to exchange binding words or vows. Civil Partnership was introduced in 2004, 9 years before same sex marriage became legal. A civil partnership can now be converted into a marriage.
As the name suggests, this partnership is purely civil and involves the signing of a legal document. It is a way that couples can show their commitment to one another without getting married. The two people will then have rights which are, more or less, the same as those choosing a marriage although splitting up can prove to be a little messier…
A married couple can separate informally without the need of intervention by a court however, if you have entered into a civil partnership, there is the need for officials to dissolve the partnership and this cannot be done less than one year from the date that the agreement took place.
When travelling around the world, marriage is globally recognised as being legally binding. Despite civil partnerships being legal in many countries, there are others where it isn’t which can sometimes cause issues.
Can heterosexual couples enter into a civil partnership? – The answer is no.
It has been argued that a heterosexual couple may not want to enter into the patriarchal institute of marriage and feel that the 2004 civil partnership act is not compatible with equality laws!
Here at the Royal Assembly Rooms in Great Yarmouth, we warmly welcome hosting civil marriage ceremonies for both same sex and heterosexual couples, offering a selection of set wedding packages as well as bespoke ‘Mix & Match’ options to suit your style and pocket.