same sex relationships

Family law for same-sex couples changed dramatically in 2013 when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was granted royal assent making same sex marriage legal.

At Birkett Long our LGBT specialists understand the breakdown of a relationship is stressful and emotional, particularly when it leads to divorce. We help you make important decisions regarding property, your will, money, business and child care, when you may feel least equipped to make them

What happens when same sex relationships break up?

Do you know how you go about ending the relationship and are there different processes involved in ending a civil partnership and ending a same-sex marriage?

What things should I take into consideration when filing for a divorce?

Firstly consider whether there is a possibility of a reconciliation, and if so seek professional guidance from organisations such as Relate. If your civil partnership (or marriage) has irretrievably broken down, seek legal advice as to financial entitlement, and the processes open to you and your partner to reach an amicable and cost effective settlement. Talk to one of your specialist divorce and separation solicitors who are members of Resolution.

What things will be taken into consideration when sharing out any assets?

The legal criteria include, firstly the welfare of children of the family; the length of the marriage/civil partnership, age of the parties; their income and future earning capacity; housing needs; particular capital contributions and any other significant circumstances. Both parties must make full and up to date disclosure of their financial assets to enable solicitors to advise and negotiate a settlement that would be approved by the Court.

To ensure an amicable relationship and good communication (particularly where there are children) financial settlement upon dissolution of Civil Partnership or divorce in marriage should be resolved by co-operative means. This may be through the collaborative process, whereby both parties meet with their solicitors to reach fair settlement without conflict or through the mediation process with a neutral mediator.


If you want to find out more about the divorce process, or want to know where to start, contact our divorce and separation solicitors in Basildon, Colchester or Chelmsford for a no obligation, free chat on the phone.


  • Debbie Butterfield
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  • Sue Catterwell
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  • Marina Iskra
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