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Dissolving and Annulment of UK Civil Partnership from Australia

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by abearinthere, 20 June 2014.

  1. abearinthere

    abearinthere Member

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    My ex same sex partner and I entered into a civil partnership ( gay marriage) in 2006 at the British Consulate in Melbourne. At the end of 2007 our relationship broke down and early 2008 I moved to Sydney. It has now been over 6 years since our relationship ended but we have nothing but hassles trying to end the relationship legally.

    Australia does not recognise same sex partnerships/marriage so cannot dissolve the partnership and UK courts are claiming not to have jurisdiction as neither of us is domiciled or resident over there. BTW I have both British and Australian citizenship.

    I finally received the following advice from the British High Commission, but it is still not conclusive in its answers and am hoping to get further advice and assistance here.

    Section 4 of the Civil Partnership (Jurisdiction and Recognition of Judgments) Regulations 2005 (SI number 3334) sets out the circumstances in which England and Wales has jurisdiction to dissolve or annul a civil partnership as follows:-

    Jurisdiction: England and Wales
    4.
    The courts in England and Wales shall have jurisdiction in relation to proceedings for the dissolution or annulment of a civil partnership or for the legal separation of civil partners where—
    (a) both civil partners are habitually resident in England and Wales;

    (b) both civil partners were last habitually resident in England and Wales and one of the civil partners continues to reside there;

    (c) the respondent is habitually resident in England and Wales;

    (d) the petitioner is habitually resident in England and Wales and has resided there for at least one year immediately preceding the presentation of the petition; or

    (e) the petitioner is domiciled and habitually resident in England and Wales and has resided there for at least six months immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.

    S221 Civil Partnership Act also provides:-
    221 Proceedings for dissolution, separation or nullity order
    (1) The court has jurisdiction to entertain proceedings for a dissolution order or a separation order if (and only if)-

    (a) the court has jurisdiction under section 219 regulations, (NB THESE ARE SET OUT ABOVE)

    (b) no court has, or is recognised as having, jurisdiction under section 219 regulations and either civil partner is domiciled in England and Wales on the date when the proceedings are begun, or

    (c) the following conditions are met-

    (i) the two people concerned registered as civil partners of each other in England or Wales,

    (ii) no court has, or is recognised as having, jurisdiction under section 219 regulations, and

    (iii) it appears to the court to be in the interests of justice to assume jurisdiction in the case.


    Question b)
    If the UK do have jurisdiction they can submit a petition to any civil partnership dissolution county court.

    Question c)
    Yes they can do so remotely. Unless the case becomes defended (and very few do) there will be no actual hearing for the dissolution. However if an application is also made for financial relief, or any applications are made concerning residence/ contact with the children there is more likely to be a need to be present at the court at some point.
     
  2. Michael T

    Michael T Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,
    Its great that you got advice from the British High Commission. From that advice, it seems that there's not that much you can do unless either of you want to temporarily move back to the UK for 6 months to get a UK court to dissolve the relationship, which is something that an Australian court can't do as it doesn't have jurisdiction. Surely there are lawyers in the UK who deal with these issues more regularly?
     
  3. Deuan

    Deuan Member

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    Hi there, did anyone get a better solution to this? I am in exactly the same position as abearinthere but further complicated by the fact that I am Scottish. When I downloaded the UK forms I have to be in England or Wales and the Scottish one is the same with regards to my living in Scotland. Would appreciate any help anyone can offer. I called the consulate this morning and came off the phone more confused.
     
  4. Stuey_w

    Stuey_w Member

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    Hi Deuan and Abearinthere, Did you receive any further help on this? I'm going through a similar process.
     

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