Opposite-Sex Couples Celebrate New Year Civil Partnerships

Opposite-Sex Couples Celebrate New Year Civil Partnerships

Thousands of opposite-sex couples have been able to enter into a civil partnership since the start of the new decade.

At the start of December, the Government’s new regulations came into force allowing opposite-sex couples to give the necessary 28 days notice period before entering into a legal civil partnership.

The legislative changes will provide more certainty for many couples entering into the civil partnership as they will be entitled ‘to the same tax benefits, pensions and inheritance as similar benefits, rights and entitlements to those available to married couples,’ according to the Government Equalities Office (GEO).

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) cite the couple of over thirty years, Julie and Keith, who now feel as though they have an inclusive way of legalising their union under the new changes.

The couple told the Government Equalities Office:

“We are so thrilled to be able to finally have a civil partnership. After more than three decades together, we can’t think of a better way to solidify our union.

“Now, we can celebrate our love with the same legal and financial security as other couples, in a new, modern and inclusive way, making our anniversary extra special.”

Whilst the legislation is a huge step forward for many couples facing the prospect of reduced rights, for some cohabiting couples, happy with their living situation, the new legislation is a compromise to achieve the rights they already feel should be offered to them.

Alison and David, a couple entering into a civil partnership this week, said:

“We would have preferred legislation to give long term cohabiting couples the same rights as married couples or civil partners.

“That said we are grateful to those who have fought hard for us to have the same rights to civil partnership as same sex couples have had for many years.

“Entering into a civil partnership will give us extra security not available to cohabiting couples. There are inheritance tax advantages and we will have additional pension rights.

“Also, we believe that trustees who administer the proceeds of insurance policies may not recognise cohabiting couples as being on the same footing as married or civil partners. We’ve had lasting powers of attorney for many years which gave us rights to have a say over each other’s health and financial affairs (should this have become necessary) and we still think these are very valuable but being civil partners should make it simpler to deal with health and other professionals.”

Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, said:

“Congratulations to all the couples who are having their civil partnerships.

“I am proud that we have helped give thousands across the country the option to have a civil partnership and celebrate their union in a way that works for them.”

How important is this legislative change for modern couples?

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