Convert a same-sex civil partnership into a marriage

K.Barrington

3 Mar 2022

Hence, it is essential to convert same-sex civil partnerships into marriage to obtain the legal status of same-sex marriage. In England and Wales, such conversion is possible... However, please remember that conversion of civil partnerships of the opposite sex, i.e. heterosexual couples, is not possible in England and Wales.

Contents


Converting in England and Wales


Registered same-sex civil partnerships are practically very similar in interpretation to marriage. On the other hand, in legal terms, civil partnership and marriage are two different concepts that define themselves by various legal regulations.


It is also worth bearing in mind that registered same-sex civil partnerships are not the same as same-sex marriage. It is essential to be aware of it because this slight difference makes same-sex civil partnerships difficult later, just because they were unaware of the differences between civil partnership and marriage.

As you know, the civil partnership ceremony differs significantly from the wedding ceremony during a marriage. The civil partnership ceremony is just a formality, limited only to the partners' signatures in the presence of a civil registrar.

Hence, it is essential to convert same-sex civil partnerships into marriage to obtain the legal status of same-sex marriage. In England and Wales, such conversion is possible, and it is as follows. Namely, a registry office, local registry office, or religious buildings that have permission and allow same-sex marriage can convert a same-sex civil partnership into a marriage.


After such transformation, homosexual couples receive a marriage certificate backdated to the day they entered into a civil partnership.

However, please remember that conversion of civil partnerships of the opposite sex, i.e. heterosexual couples, is not possible in England and Wales.

An interesting fact here is that in Northern Ireland, you cannot convert any civil partnership into a marriage. As far as Scotland is concerned, entirely different rules apply there. To ensure how the transfer from same-sex civil partnerships into marriage in Scotland works, you should find out about these rules by contacting your local registrar or family law solicitor in Scotland.

So let's move on to the costs and find out the details of the expenses of such a conversion. You must pay £45 for the service of conversion of a same-sex civil partnership into a marriage. If such a transfer is also planned with a ceremony in the presence of an official registrar, you should add an additional £27 for such an official visit. Obtaining a marriage certificate is another expense to be added on, and it is £11.

Please note that if couples intend to organise their wedding ceremony elsewhere than the registry office, the cost of the presence of a registry officer may be much higher and will depend on where the wedding ceremony is held.


Now that you have information on the costs and importance of converting same-sex civil partnerships into marriage let's analyse what you need for such a conversion.

In the beginning, you will have to make an appointment with the superintendent of the registry office, where you will be required to sign a declaration of intentions to transform your civil partnership into a marriage.

For such a meeting, you will have to take the original certificate of civil partnership and identity documents. It is best to find out which identity documents are accepted at the local registry office.

After completing all these formalities and making payments, you can plan your ceremony. Of course, contacting your designated wedding venue will be the first point of contact for establishing a date for your ceremony.

Please note that places outside the registry office must be fully adapted and registered for same-sex marriage ceremonies. Typically, these are religious buildings registered for same-sex married couples and premises where the ceremony and the marriage vows will occur immediately after the ceremony.

The marriage vow may be an oath formulated by the partners and delivered at the wedding ceremony. Family and friends can also be present at the ceremony, and no witnesses need to be assigned for such conversion.


The partners will have to sign a declaration of conversion into marriage, and during this signature, the superintendent from the registry office must be present and also sign this declaration.


Converting abroad


Many people are unaware that they can convert their same-sex civil partnerships abroad. This opportunity allows homosexual couples to arrange conversion and wedding ceremonies outside the UK.


All activities will occur following the law, and couples will receive a marriage certificate backdated to the date of their civil partnership.


To qualify for same-sex partnership conversion and the following conditions must be met:


  • You must be a resident and living for at least 28 days in the country where you intend to convert

  • Have proof of a same-sex civil partnership that is legally established in England, Wales or Scotland

  • One of the partners must be a British citizen


Please note that not all countries allow same-sex conversion, so here is a list of countries where such conversion is possible:


However, before you jump into deep water, it is worth getting ready for such a transformation in a foreign country. The main starting point will be the British Embassy or Consulate of the countries listed above. Same-sex partners intending to convert the civil partnership abroad will need an appointment at the British embassy or consulate to determine if they qualify for such conversion in a chosen country.

The documents needed to convert a same-sex civil partnership abroad are mainly the passports of the conversion participants, confirmation of the address or place of residence in a given country (employer's letter or bank statement) and the original certificate of a same-sex civil partnership obtained in England, Wales and Scotland.


Such a conversion at the British Embassy or consulate of the country selected from the above list will cost £150. Additionally, you will have to pay £50 to get a marriage certificate, usually paid in local currency.


I believe this information is comprehensive, but if there are any questions or problems with interpretation, don't hesitate to contact our company. If you need additional information or consult you marriage in England and Wales feel free to contact our specialist via email info@kjbinternationalaid.com. Alternatively, you can book your free 30 minutes telephone consultation here.


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