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Civil Partnerships

A Civil Partnership is a relationship between two people of the same sex, which is formed when they register as civil partners of one another. Two people can register provided:

  • They are the same sex
  • Neither of them is already a civil partner or is legally married
  • They are 18 or above on the day of the ceremony (consent must be obtained for those aged between 16 and 18)
  • They are not related to one another in a way that would prevent them from having a civil partnership

A Civil Partnership Notice Form helps the Registrar collect information about your ceremony and prepare your details for registration.


When do I need to give notice to the registrar?

Both parties should fill out a Civil Partnership Notice Form and return them to the Registrar, along with the relevant documents and fees e.g. if your civil partnership takes place in Antrim, but you live in Belfast, you will need to submit your Civil Partnership Notice Form in Antrim.

You must tell us about your plans to have a Civil Partnership ceremony in the 12 month period before your wedding date, and no later than 28 days before your ceremony. Notices should usually be with the Registrar about eight weeks before your ceremony, but, if either of you has been married before or has entered into a previous civil partnership, forms should be submitted ten weeks before.

What document will I need to register my civil partnership?

When returning your Civil Partnership Notice Forms, both of you must provide the following documents:

  • Your full (long version) birth certificate (authorised photocopies are not acceptable)
  • Your passport
  • A consent form (if you are aged 16-17) - these are available from the Registrar
  • If you have been married before and the marriage was dissolved, a certificate of divorce of annulment or a certified copy decree (decrees must be absolute or final)
  • If you have been married more than once, only the documents for your most recent marriage are required
  • If you have entered into a civil partnership before, a court order of dissolution for that partnership
  • If you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, the death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner

Full terms and conditions relating to these documents, as well as information about nationality requirements, are available from the guidance notes which accompany your Civil Partnership Notice Form.


How do I return my civil partership notice form?

Civil Partnership Notice Forms do not have to be returned in person, but it can be useful if they are, as it allows the Registrar to check them and ask any questions. You must both sign a declaration on the notice forms, stating that the information you and your partner have given is correct. The Registrar can then prepare your Civil Partnership schedule from the information you have provided, allowing your ceremony to take place.


What Happens after my civil partership is registered?

The Registrar will contact you a few days before the ceremony to confirm any last minute arrangements. On the day of the Civil Partnership, the Registrar will bring the schedule to the ceremony. The schedule will then be signed by both partners, two witnesses and the Registrar on the day.

Civil Partnership ceremonies can take place in Antrim Civic Centre or in an approved venue (subject to approval and the availability of the Registrar).  

Where can you have a Civil Partnership?

See the Where to have a Civil Ceremony page for venues and fees.


What do I do if my civil partership ceremony is cancelled?

If you change your plans or decide to postpone your ceremony, you must notify the Registrar as soon as possible.


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