Civil partnerships allow same sex couples the chance to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as people who are married. Civil partnerships are only available for same sex couples.
Living with your partner, whether as part of a civil partnership, a marriage or simply as partners can effect your entitlement to benefits. Contact a local advice agency if you are worried about your benefits.
Who can form a civil partnership?
Two people can form a civil partnership if:
- they are of the same sex
- they aren't already married or in another civil partnership
- they are over sixteen ( and have consent if they are under 18)
Civil partnerships are carried out by registrars in each of the 26 district councils.
What will it mean for me?
Civil partnerships can affect your right to stay in your home if something goes wrong. Civil partners will have the same rights as people who are married if you break up.
If your civil partner dies you will usually have the right to stay in the home if you rent from the Housing Executive or a housing association. It may be more difficult to stay in the home if you can't prove that you were living in it as your main home. A local advice agency can help if you are having problems with the Housing Executive or a housing association.
You may also be able to stay in your home if you rent from a private landlord. However, this depends on the terms of your tenancy agreement, and whether you have a protected tenancy.
What about my benefits?
Civil partners will be assessed in the same way as a married couple. If you are currently claiming as a single person you may have to claim again as a couple. Contact your local social security office for more information if you are unsure.
If you are entitled to carers allowance you may be able to claim extra money for your civil partner.
If you are living as a couple your housing benefit could be affected, even if you haven't formed a civil partnership. Only one person can make a claim for housing benefit and the resources of the other will be taken into account when working out your housing benefit.
If you are living as a couple you should contact the Inland Revenue about your tax credits. Even if you haven't formed a civil partnership your claim could be affected