If done correctly, Dissolution of Civil Partnerships are usually straight forward and can be administered at arm’s length rarely requiring the parties’ attendance at court. Once a Petition is drafted and signed, it is then forwarded to the Court with the fee and Civil Partnership certificate and the Court will then ‘issue’ the documents (i.e. place the court seal on the documents and open the court file which will begin the process) and will send them to the Respondent along with a document called an Acknowledgement of Service. If there are children then another document will also need to be completed and filed called a ‘Statement of Arrangements for Children’ which sets out the care, living and schooling arrangements in respect to the children of the family.
The Acknowledgement of Service must be completed and sent to the Court within a narrow time frame indicating whether or not the Respondent wishes to defend the Petition. If there is no defence then once the Court receives the Acknowledgment of service, this is then forwarded to the Petitioner with an ‘Application for Divorce’ together with as statement in support confirming that everything said within the Petition (and Statement of arrangement for children if applicable) is true. Once completed and sent to the Court the file will be presented to a judge who, if satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to grant the Dissolution will grant a ‘certificate of entitlement to a Dissolution’ setting out the date that the ‘Conditional Order’ will be pronounced.
A ‘Conditional Order’ is a document which dissolves the Civil Partnership only partially and on the condition that it is done fully 6 weeks after the Conditional Order has been granted. This finalisation process is called the Final Order.