Civil Partnership vs Marriage! How do they differ?

Civil Partnership vs Marriage! How do they differ?

Heterosexual couples who reside in the territories of England and Wales now can have the legal opportunity to enter into a civil partnership instead of marriage. Hence, males and females can now opt for this form of togetherness rather than become husband and wife. They can be civil partners which was, a term previously reserved only for same-sex couples. So what exactly is a civil partnership and how does it differ from marriage?

Civil partnership

The term is a type of association between two individuals who are in a relationship. When two people enter into this type of legality, it delineates the legal aspects of a relationship, especially as regards the rights and responsibilities. It provides the relationship legal recognition.

Civil Partnership allowed for straight couples in England and Wales (Source: The Sun UK)

For this partnership to become legal, the couple has to sign a civil partnership document in the presence of two witnesses and a registrar.

Civil partnership’s history

This type of union started in the year 2004. This aimed to provide a legal mechanism to recognize same-sex unions in a region. The enacted law was the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Initially, a same-sex couple could only enter into a contract as civil partners. But after the year 2013, they can also choose to marry.

Whereas, the opposite-sex couple could only marry. They could not enter into a union as, civil partners. But now, even mixed-up couples are allowed to go in for a civil partnership union if they so will.

The first straight civil partnership couple in the UK (Source: Time)

How do the two differ?

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The two for day-to-day purposes are similar. But couples who opt to get into a partnership of the civil type cannot call themselves married on legal grounds.

In a civil partnership certificate, the officials note down the names of both the parents of both the parties involved.  Whereas the marriage certificate has the name of only the fathers of the two individuals.

Georgina Hamblin who heads the London Family at divorce lawyers Vardags states:

“The legal and financial protections for civil partners is virtually identical to that of married couples.”

Proud first civil partners in the UK (Source: Time)

She clarified:

“So civil partnerships should not be seen as the softer and less significant option,”

The rights and entitlements of civil partners such as marriage allowance tax relief, exemption from inheritance tax, and joint parental responsibility for children would be similar to that of married couples. Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan were the first couples to become civil partners at the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office.

Why do heterosexual couples prefer civil partnership?

There are claims that the legal security of marriage is preserved without concerns over religion or gender inequality in the case of a civil partnership. Georgina says:

“It is quite amazing how many people still believe in the myth of the ‘common law marriage’ and that after a handful of years you get some ‘rights’ against the other,”

“This is just not true and is a very dangerous assumption that I see playing out with devastating results very regularly as a divorce lawyer.”

“It is my hope that with this new, gender-equal, blank canvas available, cohabiting heterosexual couples will seize their opportunity now to show their commitment to each other whilst providing financial security for their partners and their children.”

Source: County News UK