Q&As

Is adultery a fact that may be relied upon to establish irretrievable breakdown for the dissolution of opposite-sex civil partnerships under the Civil Partnership Act 2004?

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Published on LexisPSL on 29/01/2020

The following Family Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is adultery a fact that may be relied upon to establish irretrievable breakdown for the dissolution of opposite-sex civil partnerships under the Civil Partnership Act 2004?

When introduced by the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA 2004), civil partnerships related only to two people of the same sex. However, from 2 December 2019 the Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 (CP(O-sC)R 2019) (the Regulations), SI 2019/1458 are in effect and the eligibility criteria in CPA 2004 amended to allow opposite-sex couples to register a civil partnership in England and Wales.

Prior to the introduction of the Regulations the sole ground for the dissolution of a civil partnership is that it has irretrievably broken down, as evidenced by one of the four facts in CPA 2004, s 44(5). Adultery is not included as a separate fact. Infidelity which leads to an irretrievable breakdown of a civil partnership may be regarded as unreasonable behaviour within CPA 2004, s 44(5)(a).

The Regulations did not amend the facts under CPA 2004, s 44(5) to include adultery in relation

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