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Civil Partnership – Difference between Civil Partnership and Marriage | Sociology

Civil Partnership

Those who are unrelated to each other can form a civil partnership as a form of legal relationship. Couples of the same sex or the opposite sex are able to form civil partnerships. When you register a civil partnership, your relationship will be legally recognized. You will have additional rights and responsibilities as well. The civil partnership can only be ended by the death of one partner or by filing a court application for dissolution of the partnership. Civil partnerships can only be ended after they have lasted for at least one year. Civil partnerships are legally binding relationships entered into by couples that are registered and provide them with a number of legal rights similar to those of married couples.

Same-sex couples were granted legal protection and recognition in 2005 through civil partnerships. It has since been possible to marry same-sex couples under the law.It created an unusual situation where couples sharing the same sexual orientation had the option to marry or form a civil partnership, but opposite sex couples were only able to marry. Some couples choose not to get married for various reasons, for example, those who are already married may have religious or personal reasons to not repeat the process, while others object to the patriarchal or religious associations associated with traditional marriages and marriage ceremonies.The Supreme Court unanimously found that the human rights of Rebecca Steinfield and Charles Keidan had been violated by this lack of choice, a case most prominently highlighted in the highly publicised case of Rebecca Steinfield and Charles Keidan.

A review of civil partnerships was initiated by the British and Scottish governments in February 2018, potentially with the intention of including couples of opposite sex. As set forth in Schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled in June 2018 that limiting civil partnerships to same-sex couples was incompatible with the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. To make it possible for opposite-sex couples in England and Wales to enter civil partnerships, the UK government changed the law. Several Christian denominations and the Church of England unsuccessfully opposed this change. Couples of opposite sexes are now able to form civil partnerships in England and Wales as of 2 December 2019. Northern Ireland has had similar reforms since 13 January 2020. On 23 June 2020, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation allowing opposite-sex civil partnerships. Couples irrespective of sex will be able to acquire essentially the same rights and responsibilities as civil partners under this amendment, which extends the recognition of legal relationships granted under the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

Civil Partnership vs Marriage

Civil Partnership vs Marriage

The difference between civil partnership and marriage are as follows:

BasisCivil PartnershipMarriage

Legal Aspest

As far as legal purposes are concerned, civil partners cannot claim to be married.Provisions set out in the Civil Partnership Act 2004.Civil partners are not allowed to call themselves married couples for legal reasons.Provisions set out in the Marriage Act 1949, Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.


Civil partnerships can be formed by people of the same sex if they are:

  • 16 years of age or older (with parental consent if under 18)
  • Not yet married or in a civil partnership
  • The two are not closely related
Two people of the same sex can get married if they are:

  • 16 or older (with permission from parents if under 18)
  • Not already married or in a civil partnership
  • Not closely related


A civil partnership can be formed simply by signing the civil partnership document without speaking a word. It is a civil event. During the formation of their civil partnership, civil partners can choose to hold a ceremony, but this does not constitute the formation. It is possible to conduct a ceremony for the same sex civil partnership when it is held on religious premises (when the religious organization accepts to host same sex civil partnerships) as long as the actual formation remains secular.The solemnization of marriages is accomplished by saying a prescribed form of words. If a religious organization is willing to solemnize marriages of same-sex couples according to its rites, marriages can take place either in a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony.


A civil partnership certificate includes the name of the father and mother (or a stepfather or stepmother) of each party. Anyone can purchase a civil partnership certificate as long as they can identify the entry. A certificate will only display the applicant’s address if it is provided. Each party’s marriage certificate includes the name of their father (or stepfather). Anyone can purchase a marriage certificate as long as they can identify the entry.


There are several reasons why a civil partnership between people of the same sex can be annulled:

  • A civil partnership cannot be formed if one of the parties does not have valid consent.
  • It would be unfit for the parties to enter into a civil partnership if one suffered from mental illness.
  • If the respondent was pregnant when the civil partnership was formed by someone other than the applicant.
  • After the formation of a civil partnership, either party may receive an interim certificate of gender recognition.
  • At the time of the civil partnership, the respondent has received a full gender recognition certificate.
The following reasons can lead to the annulment of a marriage between two people of the same sex:

  • Invalid consent by one of the parties.
    In the event that either party suffers from a mental disorder that renders them unable to marry.
  • If the respondent had a communicable venereal disease at the time the marriage took place.
  • When the respondent was pregnant by someone other than the petitioner at the time of marriage.
  • In the event that either party has received an interim gender recognition certificate after the marriage.
  • If the respondent was in possession of a full gender recognition certificate at the time of the marriage.

Divorce /


A dissolution order ends a civil partnership. In order to dissolve a civil partnership, one or more of the following reasons must exist, including irretrievable breakdown of the partnership:

  • Respondent’s behavior of such a nature that the petitioner cannot reasonably expect to live with them.
  • Two years of desertion.
  • Separation for two years (with the respondent’s consent to the dissolution).
  • Separation for 5 years (no consent necessary)
Divorce ends a marriage when a decree of absolute separation is obtained. It is possible to end a marriage on the grounds that the relationship has irretrievably broken down, providing one or more of the following circumstances:

  • The petitioner finds living with the respondent to be intolerable because of adultery. (Adultery is the act of having sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex outside of marriage.)
  • Respondent’s behavior that renders the petitioner unable to live with them.
  • Two years of desertion.
  • After two years of separation (with the respondent’s consent).
  • Separation for five years (no consent required)

Changing Marriage Patterns – Sociology | Management Notes

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