Worthingtons Solicitors

Dissolution of Civil Partnerships in Northern Ireland – what is the process?

If you have been together in your civil partnership and have the grounds to issue proceedings, papers will be drafted and lodged on your behalf with the matrimonial office.  Once the proceedings are served on the Respondent, they have an opportunity to defend the Petition by way of lodging an Answer and Cross Petition, should they so wish.

Once the matter is ready for hearing, it is listed before the relevant Court.

If the Court is satisfied that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, a Conditional Order will be granted, six weeks and one day after which the Petitioner may apply to the Court for the Conditional Order to be made Final.

If the Petitioner fails to apply for the Conditional Order to be made Final, then the Respondent may make the application themselves once three months have passed, with the permission of the Court.

It is only once the Conditional Order is made Final that the Civil Partnership is formally dissolved, and either or both parties are free to enter into another Civil Partnership, or to remarry.

Either party may make an application to the court in respect of the finances of the Civil Partnership, on which basis the Court can adjudicate in respect of maintenance, property and financial considerations. This can be done at any stage during the proceedings; however it is advisable to make the Application prior to the Final Order having been granted.

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