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Civil Partnership Act 2010

24 August, 2010

The passing of the Civil Partnership Bill marks an important milestone in the state’s treatment of same sex couples, and all practitioners – and those wishing to avail of the rights afforded to them under the proposed legislation – should be aware of the details in the bill.

The main principle of the bill is to ensure that those in civil partnerships are entitled to the same benefits as married couples based on the fact that they are long term unions, though civil partnership is not the same as marriage.

Under the new bill, acts such as the mental health act, immigration laws and domestic violence will be amended so that civil partners receive the same provision as spouses in opposite-sex marriages.

Yet, one of the major changes, and perhaps the most anticipated, is a civil partner recognised as lawfully sharing the estate of a deceased person.

Partners have the right to share the estate as long as they respect the rights of the deceased person’s children and the rights of a former spouse.

In addition to that, civil partners are entitled to pension benefits as long as they have been registered.

Nevertheless, if your partner has deserted you for more than two years and you have not reconciled at the time of their death, you are not liable for any of share of the estate if you are the first named civil partner.

When a partnership has been dissolved, the court can request for a partner to make maintenance payments to the other to meet any liabilities or expenses reasonably incurred before a dissolution was applied for.

Payments stop when either partner dies or when the partner in favour enters a new civil partnership or marriage. This also applies to property orders and for all rules in general.

Any payments made to a partner after a dissolution remain effective until they enter a new partnership.


Civil Partnership Bill