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Comment: The kinks and quirks of equal marriage

  • Andy

    Will couples “upgrading” from a CP to a marriage require a new will? Ours was drafted in anticipation of CP.

  • It’s likely that CP to marriage conversion will become available for Scottish CPs towards the end of this year, at the same time as Scottish same-sex marriage becomes available.

    • Eleriswd

      “Civil partners in England and Wales will be able to apply for a quick and painless ‘upgrade’ of their status to a marriage, if they want. However, civil partners in Scotland or Northern Ireland will need to dissolve their partnership first before getting married.”
      I live in Scotland with my CP. This is first that I have read that we will be required to dissolve our CP in order to be eligible to marry. Is this correct? Will an ‘upgrade’ not be possible in Scotland?

      • The article is misleading because it covers the effects of the English Act only. Under the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014, you will indeed be able to change your CP into a marriage in Scotland – you will not need to dissolve it. The resulting marriage will be backdated to the start date of your CP. CP to marriage conversion should be available as soon as the Scottish Act comes into effect, around the end of this year.

        • Eleriswd

          Thank you so much for your help, it is so appreciated. We would also like to thank everyone at the Equality Network for all your incredible work in helping to make this possible. You will have significantly changed our lives. We can’t wait. Thank you.

        • Dewey

          Do you know how us CPs will be able to upgrade? my partner and I live outside the uk and cant find any info about it or even if we need to return to the uk to do it.. the countries where we live no longer need to recognise our partnership as they already have their own gay marriage so its important to us that we get upgraded asap….

          • Hi Dewey, Sorry for the delay. We can only indicate how it is likely to work if you have a Scottish CP, although full details are not yet available. You will need to submit a form to convert, and the two of you will need to confirm your identity (to guard against someone fraudulently submitting the form for another couple’s CP!). It looks like you won’t need to return to Scotland, but to confirm your identity you might have to go to the UK embassy or consulate in the country you live in. We would guess that the arrangement for people with CPs registered in England and Wales will be similar.

          • Dewey

            hi !! thanks for the reply! I so hope we don’t need to return to the UK to fill in the forms- would cause a lot of extra expense for a start!! I just wish the government would release a statement about the matter, I am seeing so much contradictory statements on line about it all…

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Not sure if it’s pure coincidence, it’s interesting to note that Royal Assent was given to the Scottish Marriage Bill yesterday and today, foreign marriages of same-sex British couples are now legal as of today. I wonder if the CP upgrades will dovetail with Scotland’s later this year? I suspect there has been communication begin both Parliaments about that.

  • GulliverUK

    What about surviving spouse benefits – they’re still not sorted, leaving a large number of couples with private pensions provisions which aren’t worth anywhere near an equal amount to heterosexual couples. For me that means we have same-sex marriage – not equal marriage, and that is not what is being portrayed. I know younger people don’t give a toss about pensions, but this is a very important area of discrimination. Two-thirds of pension providers discriminate, as far as I know.

  • Rumbelow

    The additional costs involved with updating wills etc are a direct result if the discriminatory bl00dy Civil Partnerships that were only introduced as a sop to anti-gay bigots at the time. The Government should be made to pay compensation for the costs of these additional expenses and inconveniences that gay couples will face in upgrading their status to married .

  • Marriage does not invalidate a pre-existing will in Scotland. It does in England and Wales and I don’t know the answer to your question there. It’s always a good idea to get legal advice about a will though. The rules in Scotland which apply if there is no will (“prior rights”), and the rules that allow a spouse or civil partner to inherit a portion of the estate regardless of what the will says (“legal rights”), are identical for marriage and civil partnership, so the effect will be the same before and after the conversion from CP to marriage.

  • Steven Gregory

    The United States lags behind, but it’s very educational seeing what the UK is going through. It’s a shame that legal standards weren’t established to automatically bring forward varying language upon upgrade of CPs.

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