FAQs: Civil partnership break ups and the division of assets


How are assets divided when a civil partnership ends?

Civil partners have much the same rights and responsibilities as married couples. When a civil partnership comes to an end, the assets of the couple will be divided in the same way. The court takes into account a range of factors, including the contributions made by each party and the future needs of each of the parties, taking into account any children of the relationship.

What happens to the couple’s home?

The couple can work out who will live in the home and who will move out. If they can’t come to an agreement, they can apply to the court for the court to decide. The court can make some short-term orders about the home, such as allowing one party to live in the home and/or prohibiting the other party from entering the home. If the party who remains in the home refuses to let the other party enter the home to collect their belongings, the court can make an order to this effect.

Does the couple have to financially support each other?

Civil partners have the same obligations to financially support each other as do married couples. When the civil partnership comes to an end the parties should agree on who will pay what bills, etc. This is particularly important if there are children of the relationship. If they cannot agree, the courts and the Child Support Agency can make orders.

Can a lump sum be paid to settle financial affairs?

The court may order either a lump-sum payment or ongoing payments in settlement of property. If there are children of the relationship, each party remains responsible for contributing to the child’s maintenance.

Can the couple make an informal agreement?

If civil partners are able to agree on matters to do with their finances, the home and the care of children, they can draw this up into a separation agreement. It is advisable to talk to a lawyer if you are unsure of your obligations. Mediation may also help to reach agreement on contentious issues with the help of an independent third party.

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