The concept of a civil partnership was originally introduced to assist same-sex couples in gaining the same legal rights as married couples. This originally meant that mixed-sex couples couldn’t opt for a civil partnership. It wasn’t until much later that mixed-sex couples could also enter into a civil partnership.
But what exactly is the difference between a civil partnership and marriage? Does it carry any substantial weight, and what are the benefits or downsides of each? Since civil partnerships are still a relatively new concept, we’re going to do our best to explain the differences and explain if you should consider it or not.
The main differences between a marriage and civil partnership
While both terms are used to refer to the commitment of spending your life with your partner, there aren’t that many significant differences between the two. Here are the main differences to be aware of:
A marriage certificate only requires the names of both partners’ fathers. In comparison, a civil partnership certificate requires the names of both parents.
Civil partnerships end with dissolution by obtaining a dissolution order. This differs from a divorce obtained by a decree absolute.
Adultery isn’t a valid reason to split a civil partnership. However, it is a valid reason for divorce.
Practically speaking, the only differences that you should be concerned about are the first two. In all other cases, a civil partnership shares many similarities with marriage. You also have the ability to convert your civil partnership to a marriage at a registered office or an approved premises.
Are there any other things that change with a civil partnership versus a wedding?
Aside from the legal terms, there may be a couple of things that you need to get used to when you consider a civil partnership.
For starters, some of the services you hire for your ceremony might be a little different. You can find civil partnership photography companies that understand the delicacies between civil partnerships and weddings. You might also need to look for specific venues that support civil partnerships instead of weddings. Though they are practically the same, there may be subtle differences that you’ll have to work out with the venue itself.
However, all premises that hold civil marriages are automatically approved to register civil partnerships. If a venue does reject you, it could be considered unlawful discrimination. While most venues would be happy to accept you, it’s a good idea to consider speaking to them about the differences between a civil partnership and a wedding in the event they need to change some of their banners or update their vocabulary as not to cause confusion or offence.
As you can see, there are hardly any major differences between a civil partnership and marriage. If you don’t believe in the idea of marriage and exchanging vows, then you may want to consider a civil partnership instead. You can still throw a huge celebration and invite guests to your big day, so there’s really nothing to lose!