Civil partnerships: formations down, dissolutions up

The granting of civil partnerships was a landmark piece of legislation, and paved the way for the introduction of same sex marriages in March 2014. The Office for National Statistics has recently released the figures for civil partnerships in 2015, and they make interesting reading.

Civil partnership argument

  • With many same sex couples now opting for marriage, civil partnership registrations declined sharply in 2015, with a fall of 49% from 2014.
  • During 2015, 66% of civil partnerships were between men, and of the total registrations, just under 50% were aged 50 or over. It suggests that long-term male partners still prefer civil partnerships rather than marriage.
  • London remains the most popular location for civil partnerships, with 34% of all partnerships formed in the city. The busiest local authority for civil partnerships outside London was Brighton and Hove.
  • Overall, civil partner dissolutions rose 14% in 2015 as compared with 2014. More female civil partnerships than male partnerships ended in dissolution (57%), a trend echoed in other countries including Norway and Sweden.

By the end of 2015, the ONS calculate that 6.8% of male civil partnerships and 11.7% of female civil partnerships will have been dissolved. When averaged out, 9.25% of civil partnerships end in dissolution, a figure remarkably close to the divorce rate of opposite sex couples, which stood at 9.8% in 2013.


Civil partnerships conversions to marriage

Provisional figures from the ONS examine the number of civil partnerships that have been converted into marriages during the period 10 December 2014 to 30 June 2015. During that time, an impressive 7,732 couples chose to convert their existing civil partnership to a marriage, with almost equal numbers of male and female couples choosing to become married. 31% of these conversions took place in December 2014, the month it became legal to do so.


Opposite sex civil partnerships

Opposite sex civil partnerships are now available on the Isle of Man, but not in the rest of the UK as yet, despite some landmark cases being brought in the courts. The latest figures showing the decline in civil partnerships for same sex couples suggests that UK-wide implementation of opposite sex civil partnerships will probably not be a priority for the government.


If you wish to discuss any legal aspects of civil partnerships or same sex marriages, whether formation or dissolution, just call us. We offer, friendly, professional advise in our discreet and accessible offices set in the heart of the Hampshire countryside.