Further to our blog in June this year, Theresa May has today announced that heterosexual couples in England and Wales will be able to choose to enter into a civil partnership rather than to enter into a marriage. This is previously a choice which was not available for heterosexual couples and means that a change in the law will now take place.
The government says that the change in this law will provide greater security for unmarried couples who wish to formalise their relationship but do not wish to be married. Unmarried couples do not have the same rights as married couples in relation to financial matters such as pensions and inheritance. However, the change in the law will mean that those in a civil partnership will be able to enjoy the same rights as married couples, without the restriction of marriage, whether they are same-sex or heterosexual.
This announcement has been eagerly anticipated following the ruling of the Supreme Court earlier this year in the case of Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan whereby the Court ruled that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights as it did not provide equal rights for same-sex and heterosexual couples.
The Prime Minister has said the move would give all couples the same choices in life.
The Equalities Minister has said that the change in the law would need to be fully considered but that it will happen “as swiftly as possible”.
Keep an eye out on McCarthy Bennett Holland’s blogs for more updates as and when they happen!
Please do not hesitate to contact our family solicitors Gillian Lavelle or Kim Busby if you wish to discuss any of the above further. McCarthy Bennett Holland are able to offer a free 30 minute initial consultation and are more than happy to assist.
www.wigansolicitors.com Tel: 01942 206060 Address: 26 Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan WN1 1TD Twitter: @MBHSolicitors