The Civil Partnership Act 2010
This new piece of legislation enacted in December 2010 aims to address two issues that have long existed in Irish society;
- The act recognises same sex couples and permits the registration of same sex partnerships
- The act deals with issues that arise for co-habiting couples.
Civil Partnership, what does it mean and how does it affect me and my partner?
The new act allows people of the same sex to register their partnership with the Irish Government, this has much the same effect as a marriage and once a partnership is registered it can only be dissolved by the death of a partner or with the permission of the court.
Once you have entered a Civil Partnership, your partner and you will have similar benefits to that as a married couple such as;
- Right to apply for Maintenance from each other during the course of the Civil Partnership and as part of a court dissolution.
- Protection of the shared home, similar to that of the Family Home Protection Act
- Pension entitlements
- Succession Act Rights; A Civil partner has the same rights as a spouse on the death of their partner this includes a right to share in the deceased of a partners estate,
- Domestic violence; a civil partner can claim all the protections afforded by the domestic violence act 1996. This would include rights to apply for barring orders and protection orders.
Termination of a civil partnership
Civil partnerships may only be terminated by nullity or dissolution by a Court Order. In respect of a nullity,
A Nullity can be granted, if at the time the civil partnership was registered either or both of the civil partners lack the capacity to become a civil partner for any reason including
- Either or both parties are under 18 years of age.
- Either or both are either in a valid marriage.
- Either or both are already in a valid civil partnership
- The formalities for registration are not observed.
- Either or both did not give free and informed consent.
- The parties were prohibited by degrees of relationship
- The partners were not of the same sex.
Decree of Dissolution; this is similar to a divorce between parties of a marriage however the principal difference between the dissolution of divorce are that a court may grant a decree of dissolution on the following terms:
- At the date of the institution of the proceedings the civil partners have lived apart from one another for a period of at least two years during the previous years.
- That proper provision can be made for both civil partners having regard to their circumstances.
What reliefs can I obtain when applying for a decree of dissolution?
- Maintenance pending suit orders
- Maintenance by way of a lump sum or periodical payments
- Property adjustment orders
- Financial compensation orders
- Pension adjustment orders
- Order for sale of property
- Application for provision from the estate of a deceased partner or an order blocking such provision