How do I enter into a Civil Partnership?
As with marriage, a couple can only enter into a civil partnership if :-
They are over 18 or have their parents’ permission if over 16 but under 18
Neither party is already married or in a civil partnership
They are not closely related
The couple must give notice of the intended civil partnership at least 29 days before the event. Each party must give notice anywhere within the local authority in which he/she has lived for the previous 7 days and must produce original proof of name and address, proof of any name changes and original decree absolute/final order or death certificate if that person has been married or has entered into a civil partnership previously. The notice will display information including the name, date of birth, gender, occupation, period of residence, place of where the civil partnership will take place, and nationality of each party. The registrar will display the notice for 15 days. If there have been no objections to the civil partnership and there are no legal reasons for it to be prevented, the register office will supply a civil partnership schedule which is needed to register the civil partnership. The registration must take place within 12 months of giving notice otherwise the process must start all over again.
Civil partnerships are entirely civil by way of formation and are registered by signing the civil partnership document in front of a registrar and two witnesses and no words are required to be spoken. The parties can choose to hold a ceremony after the formation has taken place and this can be civil or religious in nature (if the civil partnership takes place on religious premises). It is at this stage that the parties may give their ‘vows’ to each other but these are not required for the actual formation of the civil partnership.
Whereas marriage certificates only include the name of the father or stepfather of each of the parties, a civil partnership certificate will also include the name of the mother or stepmother. The details of the civil partnership are recorded in an electronic register rather than on paper in a hard copy register.
Unlike marriage, when a party changing their surname to that of the spouse can do so and the marriage certificate will be sufficient proof, if one civil partner wishes to change their surname to that of the other, or if they choose to have a double-barrelled surname to include both, a change of name deed will have to be entered into.