To bring a civil partnership to an end either you or your civil partner will need to file an application (known as the dissolution petition) at your local county court.
The form can be downloaded from http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/HMCSCourtFinder/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=1105.
The dissolution petition will need to rely on one of the following four possible facts to prove that the partnership has irretrievably broken down.
- Unreasonable behaviour (including infidelity).
- Living apart for two years and you both agree to the dissolution.
- Living apart for five years (even if you do not both agree to the dissolution).
- Two years' desertion (when your partner leaves without explanation without your consent).
This starts an exchange of papers which are sent out by the court to both you and your partner for completion.
It can help if you and your partner can agree who is going to file the dissolution petition and which of the four facts are going to be relied on.
Since this may help create an atmosphere in which you and your partner are better able to agree on other things, like the financial agreements that will need to be put in place.
You cannot file an application for dissolution until at least one year after becoming civil partners.