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Number of civil partnerships declines
Wed 25 Aug 2010
The number of people entering into civil partnerships in the UK declined last year, according to official data.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that 6,281 civil partnership ceremonies were performed in Britain during 2009.
This is 12 per cent down on the amount recorded a year earlier, when 7,169 couples formalised their relationship.
ONS data indicated that since the law regarding civil partnerships was introduced in the UK, the number of ceremonies peaked between January and March 2006.
The organisation said the relatively high numbers for this period reflect the fact that lots of same-sex couples took the opportunity to formalise their relationship as soon as the opportunity to do so became available.
ONS figures also showed that 351 civil partnerships were dissolved last year, 95 per cent more than in 2008.
Jacqueline Major, a solicitor at Winckworth Sherwood, commented: "It was predictable that civil partnership figures would be high for the initial years following the introduction of the legislation.
"Many people in same sex relationships had waited years for the law to be changed so their unions could be legally recognised.
"The decline in couples entering civil partnerships in the last year or two could also be linked to the uncertain economic climate. Marriage figures are down too.
"The fact that breakdowns in civil partnerships are up year on year is a natural reflection of marriages that break down after a short while.
"It is interesting to family law solicitors to look at these statistics year on year, and as time goes by we can see just how civil partnerships will work, and what advice people seek when entering and on the breakdown, of civil partnerships.
"Anyone thinking of entering a civil partnership should take legal advice, and possibly consider a pre-nuptial agreement, from an expert family lawyer. On a breakdown of a civil partnership, similar procedures and law applies as with divorce, and again expert advice should be sought on how to dissolve the relationship and deal with finances, children and any other relevant matters."
The current legislation on civil partnerships came into effect on December 5th 2005.