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Other Rights and Responsibilities
A bereaved civil partner is treated in the same way as a widow or widower in relation to inheriting their deceased civil partner's estate, in particular if he or she died without making a will.
Inheriting a tenancy
A person is entitled to inherit their civil partners tenancy upon their death, in the same way that a widow or widower can.
Civil partners have the right to obtain assurance on their civil partners life on a basis equivalent to married people.
Fatal accidents compensation
If a person dies in an accident caused by someone else's negligence, then that person's civil partner, or someone who has been living with the deceased as a civil partner for at least 2 years, is entitled to claim compensation for financial loss. They are also entitled to claim bereavement damages.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
Civil partners are entitled to a fatal injury award on the same basis as married people.
Problems arise in all relationships, which you may not be able to solve on your own. There are people you can go to for advice or counselling to help you work through these difficulties. Contact Relate on: 0845 456 1310.
There are a range of legal protections open to all couples. These include Non-Molestation Orders, which are used to restrain someone from threatening or causing violence to you; and Occupation Orders, which sort out who should stay in the home shared by the couple to protect either party (or any children) from domestic violence. Anyone effected by domestic violence, or the threat of it can phone the domestic violence national free phone 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247 or Broken Rainbow (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender domestic violence forum) on 0845 2604460 (available 9am 1pm; 2pm 5pm). In an emergency, always call the police by dialling 999.
Ending a Civil Partnership
A civil partnership can only be ended by death, dissolution or annulment. Dissolution is a court-based process and as with marriage you will need to talk to a solicitor if you want to dissolve your civil partnership, though you cannot dissolve it less than a year after it is formed. The grounds for dissolving a civil partnership are:
- Unreasonable behaviour; 2 years separation (with consent);
- 5 years separation (without consent);
- One partner has deserted the other for 2 years
Annulment only applies in specific situations, for example where one of the couple did not validly consent to the civil partnership. The courts will have the power to make provision for the division of property upon separation, the maintenance of either civil partner, and residence and contact with any children on the civil partnership and the maintenance of the child
Contacts for further information
For more information about civil partnership see the Women and Equality Unit website in the Related Links section or write to Civil Partnership, WEU, 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET