Nullity provisions—civil partnership
Nullity provisions—civil partnership

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Nullity provisions—civil partnership
  • A void civil partnership
  • A voidable civil partnership
  • Gender recognition
  • Bars to relief where civil partnership is voidable
  • Declaration as to validity/subsistence of a civil partnership

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.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA 2004) includes nullity provisions that are similar to those in relation to marriage under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. A civil partnership can be either void or voidable (CPA 2004, s 37).

A void civil partnership

Where the civil partnership is void, it is treated as never having taken place. A civil partnership will be void if one of the following applies:

  1. the proposed civil partners are not eligible to register

  2. at the time of registration both parties are aware that the requisite notice has not been given

  3. at the time of registration both parties are aware that the civil partnership document has not been duly issued

  4. at the time of registration both parties are aware that the civil partnership document is void as registration was not effected, ie the civil partnership document was not signed within 12 months of the date on which the requisite notice was first given (or