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Dissolution of Civil Partnerships is on the Rise

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On 8 October 2013 the Office for National Statistics released statistics regarding the dissolution of civil partnerships.

The key findings included:

• The provisional number of civil partnerships in the UK in 2012 increased by 3.6% since 2011 to 7,037.
• The average age of men forming a civil partnership in the UK in 2012 was 40 years, for women the average age was 37.6 years. These figures represent a small decrease in average ages in comparison to 2011.
• The provisional number of civil partnership dissolutions granted in England and Wales in 2012 was 794, an increase of 20% since 2011.

Family lawyers have said that the patterns mirror those for heterosexual couples in which marriages which break down typically do so between four and eight years in, commonly referred to as the ‘seven year itch’.

The rise comes seven years after the introduction of same-sex civil unions in 2005 and six years after the number of couples forming them peaked. Dissolution of civil partnerships has jumped 20%, and has more than doubled in three years, as the ‘seven year itch’ becomes possible in civil partnerships for the first time.

Figures also showed that same-sex female couples are more likely to dissolve civil partnerships than men. This mirrors the patterns seen for straight couples as more women than men file for divorce.

Civil partnerships have begun to break up at a speed approaching the divorce rates of heterosexual couples.

Since the Civil Partnership Act first came into force, a total of 60,454 civil unions have taken place in England and Wales.

If you are considering entering into a civil partnership or are in a civil partnership and would like to discuss your legal position then please call our Family Team  on 0113 246 0622.

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