Civil partnerships

What a civil partnership is and who can register one.

What is a civil partnership?  

Civil partnership is a legal relationship which two people of the same sex can form by signing a formal registration document. It is intended to give recognition to long term, stable relationships and help same sex couples to organise their lives together.    

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on 5 December 2005 and enables same sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their relationship. Couples who form a civil partnership will have a new legal status, that of 'civil partner'.

Civil partnership registration is available to adult same sex couples who are not already in an existing registered civil partnership or a legally binding marriage, and who are not closely related to each other. 

What are the legal consequences of registering a civil partnership?             

On signing a partnership agreement, same sex couples would gain rights and responsibilities similar to those of an opposite sex couple who enter into a civil marriage. 

How do couples apply to form a civil partnership?     

You may register a civil partnership if you are both

  • the same sex
  • 16 or over (parental consent is required if under 18)
  • not already married or in a civil partnership
  • not closely related (example: parent, brother, nephew, uncle)   

If you wish to find out more information about civil partnership follow this link

Both parties will have to give notice of their intention to form a civil partnership at the register office for the district in which they are usually resident.           

There will be a 28 day waiting period once notice of intention to register the partnership has been given.                   

On the day of registration of the partnership the couple will sign the partnership schedule in the presence of a registration officer and two witnesses. 

  For information about the legal processes required to form a civil partnership follow this link.            

Where can a civil partnership schedule be signed?               

A civil partnership schedule can be signed at any register office or other building licensed for civil ceremony in England or Wales.                  

There is no requirement for any words to be said as part of the legal process of forming the civil partnership. However, we realise that most couples will want a ceremony at the same time as the partnership is formed. We will be happy to discuss the arrangement for these.  Contact Barnsley Register Office.                   

What does it cost to form a civil partnership?              

There is a statutory fee for giving notice and for signing the civil partnership schedule. For more information see our  fees page or contact Barnsley Register Office or email              

The Barnsley Celebration Guide is now available online.  The guide is full of useful information to help you plan your special celebration. 

Please contact us if you require any further information Barnsley Register Office

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