Civil partnerships

A civil partnership is a legal commitment, which can be formed by two people of the same sex, giving them the ability to obtain legal recognition for their relationship.

Couples who form a civil partnership will have a new legal status: civil partners.

Same-sex couples who form a civil partnership will be treated equally in a wide range of legal matters with opposite-sex couples who enter into a marriage.

In order to form a civil partnership in the UK, both partners must:

  • Be of the same sex
  • Not be in a civil partnership or marriage already
  • Be 16 years of age or older in England and Wales (individuals who are aged 16 and 17 will need written consent from their parents or legal guardians)
  • Not be closely related

Giving notice of marriage or civil partnership

Before you can register your partnership you need to give formal notice of civil partnership. By law, you must give 28 days' notice of a marriage or civil partnership. This must be at a registration office in the district in which you live.

Civil partnership registration

You can have your partnership registration in all the registration offices and approved premises in Lancashire and on any day of the year except Good Friday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

Once you've chosen your venue and preferred date contact the ceremony officer. Civil partnership registration is an entirely secular process. The Civil Partnership Act stipulates that no religious content can be included in the formation of or in the ceremony accompanying a civil partnership.

Your civil partnership registration will be subject to civil partnership registration fees.

If you would like to have a civil partnership ceremony to accompany the registration procedure we will be happy to arrange it for you, ask the ceremony officer for more details.

We will only conduct a civil partnership ceremony as part of a civil partnership registration.

The duration of the ceremony depends on the type of ceremony and the different options you choose. We suggest you allow 30 minutes for your ceremony.

The cost of the ceremony will vary depending on the day, time and venue that you choose. You will need to contact the specific venue of your choice about availability and their room hire charges.

The ceremony may be as simple or as grand as you wish - we provide the framework for you to build upon. Each ceremony is divided into the following sections that give you the chance to create something personal to you both:

  • Introduction and welcome.
  • Exchange of declarations and vows to each other
  • Exchange of rings and/or gifts
  • Signing of register
  • Presentation of commemorative certificate
  • Concluding words

You do not need to include every section in your ceremony, and each part of the ceremony can be as simple or as complex as you wish. Readings or music can be included before, during and after the ceremony.

Converting a civil partnership to marriage

From Wednesday 10 December 2014 couples who registered their civil partnership in England and Wales will be able to convert their civil partnership to a marriage

This includes all civil partnerships registered according to the law of England and Wales only.