Conversion of Civil Partnership to Marriage Certificate
A civil partnership is a legal relationship which can only be registered by two persons of the same sex. Civil partners have the same legal rights as married couples in various areas of the law such as child maintenance, parental responsibility, social security, next of kin rights and inheritance tax.
In England and Wales, couples have been able to convert their civil partnership to marriage since 10 December 2014. In order to convert the civil partnership to a marriage, the couple involved needs to sign a declaration in the presence of a Superintendent Registrar or their deputy, as well as provide identification and proof of address. The civil partnership certificate also must be provided.
The declaration states that each party agrees to convert their civil partnership to marriage and happy to become each other’s lawful husband or wife. Each party can say a declaration to each other at this time if they wish. A ceremony can be held in a register office, any other building approved for marriage or in the premises of a religious organisation that has the capacity and agreement in place to hold same-sex couple marriages. A Superintendent Registrar will also need to attend.
Conversions can also take place in some British consulates abroad, for couples that reside in that country. The consulate will need to seek permission from the resident country’s Government, however.
There are a few subtle differences between a marriage and a civil partnership. A marriage is ended by decree absolute of divorce whereas a civil partnership is ended by a dissolution order. Civil partnerships do not require the exchange of vows or a ceremony but are formed by signing the civil partnerships document and registering it. Civil partnership certificates include the names of both parts of the parties involved whereas a marriage certificate only contains the fathers’ names.
This certificate can be notarised, but the Notary will need to see the original. The Notary may also seek to verify the certificate with the General Register Office.