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Dissolution is the process which legally ends a Civil Partnership. The Petitioner is the party who commences the proceedings and the Respondent responds to them.

The procedure will be as follows where (as in most cases) the proceedings are not defended:

1. The Civil Partnership has “irretrievably broken down” to be supported by reliance of one of the following facts:

a. The Respondent has behaved unreasonably and the Petitioner cannot be expected to continue living with them.
b. The Respondent has deserted the Petitioner.
c. The parties have lived separate and apart for at least two years and both consent to the dissolution.
d. The parties have lived separate and apart for at least five years.

2. The Petitioner’s Solicitor prepares the Dissolution papers – the Dissolution Petition and (where there are children) Statement of Arrangements for Children.

3. The Dissolution papers are issued at Court and served on the Respondent.

4. The Respondent acknowledges receipt by filing an Acknowledgement of Service at Court.

5. The Petitioner files at Court an Affidavit (Sworn Statement) and applies for a Conditional Order.

6. A District Judge considers the papers and if satisfied will list a date for the Conditional Order to be pronounced.

7. The Conditional Order is pronounced and if relevant a Costs Order may be made.

8. Six weeks after the Conditional Order, the Petitioner can apply to Court for the final order.

9. The final order is pronounced by the Court and the Civil Partnership is dissolved.

NOTE: The above procedure is separate to resolving the financial aspects of the Dissolution. The financial aspects may or may not have been resolved by the time the final order is made.

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