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Civil Partnerships in the UK, 2010

This bulletin presents statistics on civil partnerships that were formed in the UK in 2010, as well as those which were dissolved. The statistics are reported by gender, age, previous marital status and area of occurrence. Figures on formations for Northern Ireland, Scotland and the UK are provisional and all dissolution data are provisional. Key findings:

• The provisional number of civil partnerships in the UK in 2010 was 6,385, an increase of 1.7 per cent since 2009
• For the first time in the UK in 2010 more female than male civil partnerships were formed
• The average (mean) age of men forming a civil partnership in the UK in 2010 was 40.6 years. For women the average age was 38.4 years
• The provisional number of civil partnership dissolutions granted in the UK in 2010 was 509

Number of civil partnerships in the UK
2005 – 1953
2006 – 16,106
2007 – 8,728
2008 – 7,169
2009 – 6,281
2010 – 6,385

Source: Office for National Statistics

Number of dissolutions
To obtain a civil partnership dissolution in the UK, a couple must have been in either a registered civil partnership or a same-sex partnership recognised abroad for 12 months. There were 509 civil partnership dissolutions granted in the UK in 2010, compared with 353 in 2009 (a 44 per cent increase). Of these, 472 were in England and Wales, 34 were in Scotland and 3 were in Northern Ireland. The increase in the number of dissolutions in the UK was to be expected as the number of civil partners living in the UK continues to increase.

2007 – 41
2008 – 180
2009 – 353
2010 – 509

Source: Office for National Statistics

By the end of 2010, 1.6 per cent of male civil partnerships in the UK had ended in dissolution, while 3.3 per cent of all UK female partnerships had ended in dissolution.
Solicitor Christopher McIntosh, advises those going into and coming out of them on asset protection, asset splits, custody arrangements etc.
“This spike in numbers probably reflects the numbers of people who entered into a civil partnership in a burst of enthusiasm that gay marriage was suddenly possible in all but name. Now, however, the day to day reality may be setting in. Whether parties are entering into a civil partnership or simply deciding to cohabit, the key to avoiding unnecessary animosity and potential litigation upon relationship breakdown is clarity. Entering into a pre-civil partnership agreement (a pre-cip), a post-cip, or if you are cohabiting, a cohabitation agreement, allows you to decide at a time when emotions are not running high how assets will be dealt with upon the potential breakdown of your relationship. While pre-cips (and pre-nups) are not automatically enforceable, the presumption (following the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher and Granatino) is that if they are fair and comply with a number of safeguards, they will be upheld.”
Chris McIntosh is a solicitor with Kingsley Napley LLP t: 020 7814 1287