The steps to take in an undefended civil partnership dissolution

The steps to take in an undefended civil partnership dissolution

Step One

The Applicant files the following documents with the Court to initiate dissolution proceedings against the Respondent:

  • Cause Application – filing for dissolution of the civil partnership under one of the available grounds:
    • unreasonable behaviour
    • incurably unsound mind
    • 1 years’ separation
    • two years’ separation
    • 2 years’ desertion
  • Original certificate of civil partnership or certified copy of the same
  • Form CP03 – Notice of Proceedings
  • Form CP04 – Acknowledgement of Service
  • Form CP05 – Statement of Arrangements for the Child/ren (if applicable)
  • £300 treasury receipt

Once the above is filed the certificate of civil partnership will not be returned by the Court as part of the next stage.

A Cause Application cannot be filed with the Court within three years of the civil partnership being formed, save for exceptional circumstances.

Step Two

The Applicant will receive the original Forms CP03, CP04 and CP05 (if applicable) back from the Court, the documents will have a Court reference number which will be used on all Court documents going forward (the Cause Application is not returned).

The Respondent then needs to be served with the above originals, and a copy of the Cause Application which is usually served via the Viscount’s Department. A treasury receipt of £100 will need to be provided to the Viscount.

Note, these steps relate to local service on the Respondent only – please refer to the website for guidance on service outside of the jurisdiction, or issues in relating to locating the Respondent.

Step Three

Once the Respondent has received the above papers, they will then have 8 days to return the Form CP04 and CP05 (if applicable) to the Court. The 8 days will run from the day after the Respondent received the documents. A copy of the Form CP04 and CP05 will then be sent to the Applicant.

If the Respondent has stated that they do not wish to defend the particulars set out in the Cause Application then the Applicant can apply the Court to set the matter down for an undefended hearing.

In matters for 1 years’ separation, the Respondent must return the Form CP04 before the Applicant can proceed with step four. It is therefore recommended that the Viscount’s Department be used for service, to ensure proof of the same upon the Respondent should an issue arise at a later date.

Step Four

With regards to the latter, the Applicant will need to apply for the Greffier’s Certificate (Form CP19) and file a relevant Form + Affidavit in respect of the ground they issued their Cause Application under. The second document must be sworn and witnessed before it can be filed with the Court.

Provided there are no issues when applying for the Greffier’s Certificate, the Court will pronounce a Conditional Order at the next available hearing date. Disputes which arise as to the Applicant’s costs can be heard at this hearing, although its usual that an agreement will be reached between the parties beforehand or costs will be agreed to be held over.

A period of six weeks’ and one day must pass before the Applicant can apply for a Final Order to dissolve the civil partnership. If a period of 3 month’s passes and the Applicant has not applied for the Final Order the Respondent may do so.

Step Five

The form for applying for Final Order is the Form CP11. A treasury receipt must also be filed with the Court for £40.

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