Civil partnership conversions
9 December 2014 by Ties Bouwmeester
Major changes introduced by the Marriage of Same Sex Couples (Conversion of Civil Partnership) Regulations 2014 will allow couples in existing civil partnerships to convert them into a marriage before Christmas.
These Regulations establish the procedure for converting civil partnerships formed under the law of England and Wales into marriages, pursuant to section 9 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. Conversions will be able to take place as from tomorrow, 10th December.
Couples who decide to convert their civil partnership will have the choice of a simple process at a register office, or a two stage process in order to allow friends and family to attend. The two stage process involves a superintendent registrar, or their deputy, completing the conversion at another venue. Other venues include a wide range of approved premises such as hotels and stately homes, allowing couples to invite friends and family to attend a ceremony after the conversion takes place.
There is also a procedure which can be adopted by couples overseas, for conversion of civil partnerships by Consular Registration Officers in countries which have given consent for conversions to take place. Separate regulations cover members of the armed forces.
Nick Boles, the Minister for Skills and Equalities said:
“I know how important it is for couples to have the option of marriage available to them. This is the final stage in ensuring every couple has the option to be married.”
“This puts couples in control. They have the choice of whether they would like a simple conversion or would prefer to celebrate the occasion with a ceremony.”
A fee of £45 is payable in order for the conversion to take place. However, all couples who formed a civil partnership before 29th March 2014 (when marriage became available for same sex couples) have no fee to pay if they opt for the conversion at a register office.
For further information about when and where civil partnerships can be converted, contact your local register office.