UK Formalizes Heterosexual Civil Partnerships

Civil partnerships were created in 2004 to give same sex couples similar legal and financial protection as mixed-sex couples had with marriage. In 2013, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 legalised same-sex marriage in England and Wales, giving same-sex couples the choice between marriage and civil partnership. Mixed-sex couples, however, did not share this right of choice and could not enter into a civil partnership. In remedying this imbalance, the Supreme Court has ruled that mixed-sex couples will now also be allowed to choose to have a civil partnership rather than a marriage.

This new right will impact British couples who have chosen not to get married but would like more of a commitment than merely cohabiting partners. With the introduction of heterosexual civil partnerships, couples can avoid the traditions of a wedding, including vows, being “given away” and other religious connotations, instead needing only the signing of a document. The tradition of women promising to “obey” their husbands upon marriage is now dated and no longer relevant in a society where equal rights are sought after. Additionally, beyond the issues of principle, there are practical benefits of entering into a civil partnership. Civil partners benefit from inheritance, property and pension rights similar to those in marriages. Therefore, civil partnerships act as a middle ground between the more formal concept of marriage and the more casual concept of cohabitation, in which the couple are treated as two singles and thus receive no benefit.
The new legislation allowing all couples, whether heterosexual or homosexual, to formalize their unions in the manner they wish, is another step forward for society. It is proof that we are becoming a more equal and accepting nation, which in turn may generate greater social stability and satisfaction.

This new legislation is not dissimilar to the French Civil Solidarity Pact (PACS), which is also a contractual form of civil union between two adults for organising their joint life. PACS was voted by French Parliament in 1999 and allowed for couples of both heterosexual and homosexual relationships to benefit.

The main difference between a French PACS and UK Civil Partnership are the particular benefits. While a UK civil partnership allows for pension and inheritance rights, PACS does not. PACS has the benefit of being treated as married couples regarding benefits or accommodation within the French council, in addition in tax purposes to minimise income tax liability. Termination of both UK Civil Partnerships and French PACS require applications to the Court and the organisation of any paperwork, which in either case will most likely be simpler than going through divorce proceedings.

Meanwhile, the UK did not recognise French PACS until the introduction of civil partnerships in 2004. Further, as the introduction of civil partnerships in the UK was directed exclusively to homosexual couples, the heterosexual couples with a PACS were not recognised in the UK. However, with the new legislation now allowing for heterosexual couples in the UK to form a civil partnership, the UK’s recognition of French PACS may be under review.

For further information, please contact Stefano Lucatello at Kobalt Law LLP.
Tel DDI +44 (0) 207 749 3209
Tel Mob + 44 (0) 7802 921339
E-mail: stefanol@kobaltlaw.co.uk
Web: www.kobaltlaw.co.uk
Skype: stefano.kobalt

Recent News Articles

UK Formalizes Heterosexual Civil Partnerships

Civil partnerships were created in 2004 to give same sex couples similar legal and financial protection as mixed-sex couples had with marriage. In 2013, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 legalised same-sex marriage in England and Wales, giving same-sex … more…

CAMPIONE D’ITALIA – AN ITALIAN TAX HAVEN IN THE HEART OF SWITZERLAND…… WHY SMART HIGH NET WORTH INDIVIDUALS ARE CHOOSING ITALY OVER MONACO, SAVING MILLIONS.

The Italian tax haven of “Campione d’Italia” is a part of the Republic of Italy, known as an enclave”, with some very unique tax concessions, allowing HNWI’s to transfer to Switzerland without really being there. The specific tax rules allow … more…

What is Air B and B doing to the world we live in?

I understand why it was created and how it works, but it can cause neighbours of such ‘mostly illegal ” activities in leasehold premises, great inconvenience. Not only is it disconcerting to have regular changes of people next door, many … more…

TURKEY…. A GREAT PLACE TO INVEST….OR A TIME BOMB WAITING TO EXPLODE?

I was interested to read a fellow commentator’s opinions on Turkey, especially his statement that…” Turkey will make an appealing investment proposition”. Turkey has always been a “femme fatale” for English tourists and buyers. Its beautiful waters and cities, have always drawn … more…

Brexit…..Will it ever happen and what it means for you………….

The UK’s vote to leave the European Union will lead to the biggest split in history – with the world’s 5th largest economy (the UK) exiting the world’s largest economic grouping (the EU). The uncertainty of how and when Brexit … more…

Latest Kobalt Law Tweet

Latest Kobalt Law Client Testimonials

English, French and Portuguese Re-mortgages

Thank you for completing complex mortgage repayments simultaneously in three countries. David and Stefano were excellent, remaining calm and efficient in trying circumstances. I was very satisfied with their service, and would not hesitate to use Kobalt Law again.  

Visit Testimonials Page