Civil Partnership Act 2004

Citation2004 c. 33
JurisdictionUK Non-devolved


Civil Partnership Act 2004

2004 CHAPTER 33

An Act to make provision for and in connection with civil partnership.

[18th November 2004]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Introduction

Part 1

Introduction

S-1 Civil partnership

1 Civil partnership

(1) A civil partnership is a relationship between two people of the same sex (‘civil partners’)—

(a) which is formed when they register as civil partners of each other—

(i) in England or Wales (under Part 2),

(ii) in Scotland (under Part 3),

(iii) in Northern Ireland (under Part 4), or

(iv) outside the United Kingdom under an Order in Council made under Chapter 1 of Part 5 (registration at British consulates etc. or by armed forces personnel), or

(b) which they are treated under Chapter 2 of Part 5 as having formed (at the time determined under that Chapter) by virtue of having registered an overseas relationship.

(2) Subsection (1) is subject to the provisions of this Act under or by virtue of which a civil partnership is void.

(3) A civil partnership ends only on death, dissolution or annulment.

(4) The references in subsection (3) to dissolution and annulment are to dissolution and annulment having effect under or recognised in accordance with this Act.

(5) References in this Act to an overseas relationship are to be read in accordance with Chapter 2 of Part 5.

2 Civil partnership: England and Wales

Part 2

Civil partnership: England and Wales

Chapter 1

Registration

Formation, eligibility and parental etc. consent

Formation, eligibility and parental etc. consent

S-2 Formation of civil partnership by registration

2 Formation of civil partnership by registration

(1) For the purposes of section 1, two people are to be regarded as having registered as civil partners of each other once each of them has signed the civil partnership document—

(a) at the invitation of, and in the presence of, a civil partnership registrar, and

(b) in the presence of each other and two witnesses.

(2) Subsection (1) applies regardless of whether subsections (3) and (4) are complied with.

(3) After the civil partnership document has been signed under subsection (1), it must also be signed, in the presence of the civil partners and each other, by—

(a) each of the two witnesses, and

(b) the civil partnership registrar.

(4) After the witnesses and the civil partnership registrar have signed the civil partnership document, the relevant registration authority must ensure that—

(a) the fact that the two people have registered as civil partners of each other, and

(b) any other information prescribed by regulations,

is recorded in the register as soon as is practicable.

(5) No religious service is to be used while the civil partnership registrar is officiating at the signing of a civil partnership document.

(6) ‘The civil partnership document’ has the meaning given by section 7(1).

(7) ‘The relevant registration authority’ means the registration authority in whose area the registration takes place.

S-3 Eligibility

3 Eligibility

(1) Two people are not eligible to register as civil partners of each other if—

(a) they are not of the same sex,

(b) either of them is already a civil partner or lawfully married,

(c) either of them is under 16, or

(d) they are within prohibited degrees of relationship.

(2) Part 1 of Schedule 1 contains provisions for determining when two people are within prohibited degrees of relationship.

S-4 Parental etc. consent where proposed civil partner under 18

4 Parental etc. consent where proposed civil partner under 18

(1) The consent of the appropriate persons is required before a child and another person may register as civil partners of each other.

(2) Part 1 of Schedule 2 contains provisions for determining who are the appropriate persons for the purposes of this section.

(3) The requirement of consent under subsection (1) does not apply if the child is a surviving civil partner.

(4) Nothing in this section affects any need to obtain the consent of the High Court before a ward of court and another person may register as civil partners of each other.

(5) In this Part ‘child’, except where used to express a relationship, means a person who is under 18.

Registration procedure: general

Registration procedure: general

S-5 Types of pre-registration procedure

5 Types of pre-registration procedure

(1) Two people may register as civil partners of each other under—

(a) the standard procedure;

(b) the procedure for house-bound persons;

(c) the procedure for detained persons;

(d) the special procedure (which is for cases where a person is seriously ill and not expected to recover).

(2) The procedures referred to in subsection (1)(a) to (c) are subject to—

(a) section 20 (modified procedures for certain non-residents);

(b) Schedule 3 (former spouses one of whom has changed sex).

(3) The procedures referred to in subsection (1) (including the procedures as modified by section 20 and Schedule 3) are subject to—

(a) Part 2 of Schedule 1 (provisions applicable in connection with prohibited degrees of relationship), and

(b) Parts 2 and 3 of Schedule 2 (provisions applicable where proposed civil partner is under 18).

(4) This section is also subject to section 249 and Schedule 23 (immigration control and formation of civil partnerships).

S-6 Place of registration

6 Place of registration

(1) The place at which two people may register as civil partners of each other—

(a) must be in England or Wales,

(b) must not be in religious premises, and

(c) must be specified in the notices, or notice, of proposed civil partnership required by this Chapter.

(2) ‘Religious premises’ means premises which—

(a) are used solely or mainly for religious purposes, or

(b) have been so used and have not subsequently been used solely or mainly for other purposes.

(3) In the case of registration under the standard procedure (including that procedure modified as mentioned in section 5), the place—

(a) must be one which is open to any person wishing to attend the registration, and

(b) before being specified in a notice of proposed civil partnership, must be agreed with the registration authority in whose area that place is located.

(4) If the place specified in a notice is not so agreed, the notice is void.

(5) A registration authority may provide a place in its area for the registration of civil partnerships.

S-7 The civil partnership document

7 The civil partnership document

(1) In this Part ‘the civil partnership document’ means—

(a) in relation to the special procedure, a Registrar General's licence, and

(b) in relation to any other procedure, a civil partnership schedule.

(2) Before two people are entitled to register as civil partners of each other—

(a) the civil partnership document must be delivered to the civil partnership registrar, and

(b) the civil partnership registrar may then ask them for any information required (under section 2(4)) to be recorded in the register.

The standard procedure

The standard procedure

S-8 Notice of proposed civil partnership and declaration

8 Notice of proposed civil partnership and declaration

(1) For two people to register as civil partners of each other under the standard procedure, each of them must—

(a) give a notice of proposed civil partnership to a registration authority, and

(b) have resided in England or Wales for at least 7 days immediately before giving the notice.

(2) A notice of proposed civil partnership must contain such information as may be prescribed by regulations.

(3) A notice of proposed civil partnership must also include the necessary declaration, made and signed by the person giving the notice—

(a) at the time when the notice is given, and

(b) in the presence of an authorised person;

and the authorised person must attest the declaration by adding his name, description and place of residence.

(4) The necessary declaration is a solemn declaration in writing—

(a) that the proposed civil partner believes that there is no impediment of kindred or affinity or other lawful hindrance to the formation of the civil partnership;

(b) that each of the proposed civil partners has had a usual place of residence in England or Wales for at least 7 days immediately before giving the notice.

(5) Where a notice of proposed civil partnership is given to a registration authority in accordance with this section, the registration authority must ensure that the following information is recorded in the register as soon as possible—

(a) the fact that the notice has been given and the information in it;

(b) the fact that the authorised person has attested the...

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