Technically, a civil partnership is considered broken if you or your civil partner dies. For circumstances that may require immediate separation sans death, however, there are different legal options you can consider.
These options require that you ask court permission for your separation. The court can then grant you and your partner any of the following orders:
1. Dissolution Order. This particular order requires you and your partner to have been married for at least one year. In order to be considered for this order, you should be able to provide enough evidence to prove that your civil partnership has been irreparably damaged and would best be broken down permanently. This case can be supported with proof of any or all of the following circumstances:
- unreasonable behavior (any types of abuse directed on you or your children)
- mutual agreement to the dissolution, provided that you have been living apart for two years
- at least five years of living separately, if you or your partner does not agree to the dissolution
- intentional desertion by your partner for at least 2 years (if reasons behind desertion can be considered ‘unreasonable’, then you can apply for dissolution sooner than 2 years)
It is best to seek legal advice from a Solicitor regarding this matter, especially if you or your partner disagrees with the dissolution. Once the court has looked through your application, it will then issue a conditional order of dissolution, which will only be made final after six weeks.
2. Separation Order. If you and your civil partner is seeking immediate breakdown of your civil partnership without having to wait for 2 years, you can opt for this type of court order instead. This will not dissolve your civil union and thus will keep you from registering another civil partnership until after you’ve applied for a dissolution order. You can, however, live separately as you wish. If you and your partner have a child or children, you will have to convince the court of the efficiency of your arrangements for taking care of your child/children.
You will also need to provide proof of any or all of the circumstances previously listed under dissolution order, in order for the court to consider your application. And should you wish to apply for a dissolution order after 2 years, you can do so using the same proof to support your application.
3. Annulment or Nullity Decree. Among the three options, this one most needs legal assistance in order to appropriately assess your civil partnership for any circumstances that can warrant for a nullity application. This would be any requirement you may have failed to meet when you registered for the civil partnership that will give the court reason to consider your partnership as void or one that never really existed. If the court has nullified your civil partnership as void, there is no longer a need to go to court and apply for an annulment, because technically your partnership never happened. It is, however, advisable to apply for a court order stating the annulment of your civil partnership for formality.
Whatever option you deem fits your circumstance, it is always best to seek legal advice and assistance in order to take all the right steps towards breaking down your civil partnership.