A brief guide to dividing finance and property on civil partnership dissolution

A brief guide to dividing finance and property on civil partnership dissolution

The Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 2012 provides same-sex couples with an alternative to marriage. It is important to note that civil partnerships differ to same-sex marriages, which is governed under the Marriage and Civil Status (Amendment No4) (Jersey) Law 2018, however, a civil partnership can be converted into a same-sex marriage.

What rights are available to same-sex couples in a civil partnership?

Civil partnerships do allow same-sex couples similar rights, and it provides for similar responsibilities as married couples. This essentially means, that should one party present an application to the Court to dissolve the partnership, they can also apply for financial provision for themselves, and any children of the partnership.

Brief background on grounds available to dissolve and civil partnership

It is important to note when applying to dissolve a civil partnership, the same grounds available to dissolve a marriage apply, save for the ground of adultery. The three year bar also applies to civil partnerships, as it does to married couples, namely, no application can be presented to the Court unless three years have passed since the date of the formation of the civil partnership.

Financial division for civil partnerships

As with married couples, usually, the largest asset for the purposes of division will be the former matrimonial home. That is no different to same-sex couples of a civil partnership. The Court has powers under the Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 2012 to make the same orders for property as it is able to for married couples, such as; transfer or settlement of property and sale of property.

Other financial powers of the Court available to civil partnerships are; interim orders for maintenance payable to one party by another and final orders such as; lump sum or sums payable to one party, or joint lives maintenance orders payable to one party.

The Court is also able to make orders for financial provision for any children of the family.

It is advisable that should an application for a dissolution of your civil partnership be issued with the Court and there are finances for the purposes of division, that you enter into and exchange disclosure with your partner, prior to reaching an agreement as to how the assets should be split.

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