Ending a civil partnership

Civil Partnership

You can end a civil partnership when you have been in that partnership is over 12 months old.

Unlike a married couple, a civil partnership CANNOT be ended with the reason of Adultery.  This is because the law classifies adultery as sexual intercourse between members of the opposite sex. 

Otherwise, the divorce process is identical as that for an opposite-sex marriage. There is the same court fee of £550 too.

The following reasons for ending a civil partnership can be used though:

Unreasonable Behaviour

Your civil partner has behaved in a way that means you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.

This could include:

  • physical or mental cruelty
  • verbal or physical abuse
  • being irresponsible with money
  • being sexually unfaithful


Your civil partner has intentionally left you for at least 2 years.

You can still claim desertion if you have lived together for up to a total of 6 months in this period. This will not count towards the 2 years.

 However, it can be difficult to prove that your partner intentionally left.

Separated for at least 2 years

You can apply to end your civil partnership if you’ve been separated for at least 2 years before applying and you both agree to end the civil partnership.

Your civil partner must agree in writing to end the civil partnership.

It may be possible for you to show that you’ve been separated while living in the same home as your civil partnership as long as you’re not living together as a couple (for example you sleep and eat apart).

Separated for at least 5 years

You can apply to end your civil partnership if you’ve been separated for at least 5 years, even if your civil partner disagrees.

Government advice on ending a civil partnership

If you would like further advice on ending a civil partnership, please contact Divorce Negotiator on 0800 177 7702

Ending a civil partnership was last modified: June 19th, 2019 by John Fuller

Would you like to receive relevant information on divorce?
You can unsubscribe at any time