Since March this year, same sex couples have had the opportunity to get married. However, for those who have already formed a civil partnership, this right was only available to them from last week.
There are two ways to convert a civil partnership to a marriage, a simple standard conversion or a standard conversion followed by a marriage ceremony.
The standard conversion is a simple administrative process which consists of both civil partners attending an appointment at any register office to complete a declaration with details about themselves and their civil partnership. The couple will need to be able to produce the following documents:
- Evidence of their names and date of birth
- Evidence of their address
- An original civil partnership certificate
- A legal declaration is then drawn up for them both to sign with the Superintendent Registrar. Their marriage is then registered and a marriage certificate will then be issued
For the standard conversion followed by a ceremony, the couple then proceed to undergo a marriage ceremony at any venue which is licensed to perform weddings. The ceremony can be designed to suit the couple. Following the ceremony their marriage is registered and a marriage certificate is then issued.
Same sex couples in civil partnerships and now in marriages have the same legal rights and responsibilities as those in heterosexual marriages.