Legal Status of Civil Partnerships

Registration of a civil partnership differs from a civil marriage in that whilst it is legally binding it is not legally referred to as a marriage.

Additionally, whilst civil marriages can only be entered into by hetereosexual couples, civil partnerships can only be entered into by same-sex couples.

Under the new Civil Partnership Act gay couples, or 'civil partners,' will finally be able to enjoy many of the same rights as heterosexual married couples.

These include:
• Tax breaks, including inheritance tax
• Employment benefits
• Most state and occupational pension benefits
• Income related benefits
• Tax credits and child support
• Duty to provide reasonable maintenance for your civil partners and any children
• Ability to apply for parental responsibility for your civil partner's child
• Inheritance of a tenancy agreement
• Recognition under intestacy rules
• Access to fatal accidents compensation
• Protection from domestic violence
• Recognition from immigration and nationality purposes