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Same Sex Relationships:

divorce/dissolution - what happens?

Firstly, when a same sex couple split up it's not actually called divorce (see note below though) - it's known as the dissolution of the civil ceremony. As dissolution's a bit of a mouthful though I'll use divorce and dissolution on this page and it should be clear what I'm talking about.

When most people talk about divorce they are talking about the whole procedure of a couple (joined in a civil partnership) splitting up and going their separate ways. In actual fact the 'divorce' bit only applies to one part of the break-up - the ending of the civil ceremony that you both entered into at the start. The dissolution itself won't sort out things like custody of children or any maintenance - those things are sorted out separately (but usually at the same time).

So just as you entered a formal ceremony to become civil partners, you also have to go through certain procedures in order to become divorced.

The Dissolution process

So having established that the dissolution itself is only one part of the break-up of a relationship, what exactly happens when your civil partnerships is dissolved and how do you do it?

This page answers all those questions and many more, including dealing with Legal Separation

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Matrimonial Finances

The word 'finances' covers all the financial side of the relationship break-down - including splitting any property or other assets you might own together, whether maintenance is applicable, and taking on liability for previously shared debts.

This page pulls through all of those things and explains all the possible options

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Child Contact and Residence Orders

Unfortunately children are often the innocent victims of a family breaking up. This page sets out the possible options for looking after the children after the civil partnership has ended

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Pay As You Go Dissolution

This is a totally new service launched in 2012 and we are the first law firm in the country to launch it.

The name is pretty descriptive and it works in a similar way to a Pay As You Go mobile phone. It basically allows you to spread the cost of the divorce over 10 equal payments. You manage the payments yourself online; you pay by paypal, and you get reminders by SMS text and email.

It's actually called Pay As You Go Divorce but applies equally to dissolution of civil ceremonies

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At the moment people joined by a civil ceremony aren't broken apart by a divorce - instead it's classed as the dissolution of the civil ceremony (a bit of a mouthful). However as at March 2012 the government produced a consultation paper on allowing same sex marriage as opposed to civil partnerships - if that is introduced then presumably such a break-up will be classed as a divorce as opposed to dissolution of a civil ceremony.