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Civil partnership the same as marriage (at least in the Court of Appeal)

Readers of the Farleys blog will recall my previous blog on the landmark case in the Court of Appeal between civil partners Gallagher (an actor) and Lawrence (a city financier).

Assets worth over £4,000,000 were in issue between the couple and the case was the first opportunity for the Appeal Court to consider the rules for the division of assets in civil partnership “dissolution”.

Bearing in mind the current controversy as to whether there should be gay marriage, it is interesting that the court considered the appeal on the basis that exactly the same approach should be taken to applying the law as in divorce and that guidance contained within previous court decisions on divorce should be adopted.

The court therefore considered carefully the parties’ contributions to the relationship through the introduction of capital into the marriage and gave Lawrence credit for an expensive London flat that he owned before the relationship. On that basis the settlement, which had been nearly half, was reduced to 35% of the overall assets.

Although the court must approach every case on the basis that there is a presumption that the assets should be divided equally, the settlement actually ended up weighted heavily in favour of one of the parties.

Financial provision in both divorce and civil partnership breakdown is a complex area and expert assistance is required. for free initial legal advice on civil partnership dissolution, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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