Civil partnerships

A civil partnership is for couples who want to have their relationship legally recognised. Any couple that registers a civil partnership will have the same rights as a married couple in areas like tax, social security, inheritance and workplace benefits.

A civil partnership can take place at any register office, an approved premise or a local authority approved religious premise in England and Wales.

Who can register

Two people who are:

  • 16 or over
  • not already married or in a legal civil partnership
  • not closely related (eg. parent, sibling, aunt, uncle).

If you are under 18 you need permission from your parents or guardians to form a civil partnership in England or Wales.

You will first need to give formal notice of civil partnership for each party to the civil partnership registrar in the district(s) of residence, unless one or both parties are non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals where the couple must attend a designated register office together to attest the notice of civil partnership. Blackburn with Darwen Register Office is a designated office.

Application should be made to the chosen venue for availability before the formal notices of civil partnership can be taken.

Once formal notice has taken place you must wait 28 clear days before you register your civil partnership. In certain circumstances for non-EEA nationals, (countries in the EEA) this waiting period may be extended to 70 days on the instruction of the Home Office.

A notice of civil partnership is only valid for 12 months from the date of the notice.

Opposite sex civil partnerships

We are now taking bookings for civil partnerships for opposite sex couples.

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc.) Act, which received royal assent on 26 March 2019, contains provisions for regulations to be made to extend eligibility for forming a civil partnership to opposite sex couples.

The implementation date has now been confirmed, and the first opposite sex civil partnerships can take place from 31 December 2019. The earliest date for giving a notice of the intended formation of a civil partnership will be 2 December 2019 (notice is given for a period of 29 days after which the formation can take place. In certain cases, depending on immigration status, this may be extended to 71 days).

A civil partnership does not require a ceremony therefore you can choose to sign the schedule in front of 2 qualified witnesses by booking a statutory ceremony appointment (subject to availability). If you wish to combine the signing with a full ceremony then of course you have that option too and will need to book a venue and registrars ahead of booking an appointment to give your legal notice of intention.