There has historically only been one choice for straight couples to give each other clear rights over the division of assets on break up – to marry.
However the UK could be one step closer to allowing Civil Partnerships for opposite sex couples after a Tory MP brought the matter to Parliament.
Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, has launched a Private Member’s Bill which, unusually, is now being backed by the Government which proposes a review of current Civil Partnership laws.
Loughton believes that all couples, whether same sex or opposite sex, should be entitled to the option of a Civil Partnership and by changing the law, there will be more equality in the way people can join together in partnerships.
Lots of couples now shun the idea of traditional marriages due to their connotations to religion and patriarchy. This has led to a rise in the number of cohabiting, unmarried couples. This kind of family set up often leaves couples legally unprotected, especially if the relationship were to break down.
It is hoped that by reviewing the law, more couples can enter into partnerships that protect both parties legally and financially.
The prospect of civil partnerships for heterosexual couples entered the news back in February 2017 when Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keldan took their fight for the right to enter into a heterosexual civil partnership through the courts. The High Court and the Court of Appeal both rejected their pleas and they are now waiting for a Supreme Court ruling due mid May 2018.
Now that the issue has received the backing of MPs in Parliament it will be very interesting to see what the outcome of their case will be.
Nonetheless, we can see that the face of marriage and partnerships in the UK is changing and as a result I predict that the way in which people separate will also change. To enter a civil partnership should not be taken lightly, the legal implications are wide ranging and need specialist legal advice.
Farleys Solicitors have a team of family law specialists who can advise on all aspects of family law including pre-marital agreements, divorce and separation, and child matters. For advice tailored to your situation please call 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry online.