For a long time, same sex couples were ignored by English Family law. The Civil Partnerships Act of 2004 brought about legal recognition of same sex unions similar to that of civil marriage. Civil Partners are entitled to the same property rights as married opposite-sex couples and have the same tax and pension benefits. There is the ability to get parental responsibility for a partner’s children, as well as responsibility for reasonable maintenance of a partner and their children.

There is a formal process for dissolving partnerships that is similar to divorce. However, some aspects are different. For example, in the dissolution of a civil partnership you cannot cite “adultery” as a reason for the breakdown of the marriage. As with divorce, the one ground for filing for dissolution of a civil partnership is that the civil partnership has broken down permanently.

As with divorce, the Court has powers to order financial relief to parties.

Parenting Agreements:

Some same-sex couples may ask a friend to be either a surrogate to have children (in the case of men) or ask a male friend to donate sperm. It makes sense in these situations for parenting agreements to be entered into so that each party knows the extent of their rights and responsibilities (including any financial responsibilities). There should be clear guidelines to avoid any dispute in the future. These can range from full co-parenting, to surrogacy or sperm donation only. Brookman are able to draft such agreements. There are also issues to consider of Parental Responsibility.

It might also be worth considering a pre-registration agreement. Please view our pre-nuptial contracts page for more information.

International Aspects:

Where couples either have assets spread internationally, or one party hails from another country, there may be international aspects to consider. Firstly, existing property must be reviewed, because a same sex union may not be recognised in one partner’s country of origin. Secondly, the consequences if a possible dissolution of the partnership and any financial settlement must be reviewed. Where a same sex couple has registered a relationship overseas and this meets various criteria, they will be counted as having formed a valid civil partnership in England and Wales and the civil partnership will need to be dissolved in the usual way.

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Civil Partnership Scenario

The scenario below does not relate to any individual clients of ours but the facts and the outcomes relate to some similar experiences in our practice.

The Scenario

Mr E was looking into entering into a civil partnership with Mr F.  Mr E had substantial assets such as a house valued at £1 million, investments valued at £3 million and a pension worth £1 million.  Although Mr E felt that the parties loved one another and that their relationship would endure, Mr E wanted to protect his position in case there was any change after the parties had entered into a civil partnership.

Our Solution

We advised Mr E that the best way to protect the position would be for the parties to enter into a Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement, which could regulate the parties’ finances if the civil partnership came to an end.  The Agreement encompassed all aspects such as their income, their capital assets and their pension assets.  The entire matter was dealt with amicably within a few weeks.  The parties signed the Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement and subsequently entered into a civil partnership.

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Myself and my mother had a free video consultation with Mr. Brookman regarding my mother's divorce and were both impressed with his knowledge on divorce matters, professionalism and understanding. Henry then followed up with us with a clear plan of what he suggests we do...

Mar 2021   Bruna Cordeiro Pezzano

I had a consultation with Mr. Brookman and was impressed with his honesty, knowledge and understanding of my situation. He seemed to take a genuine interest in my case, which immediately put me at ease.

Mar 2021   Chichi

Very swift response and concise information. I had a very engaging free consultation with Mr Brookman initially which was informative and professional.

Feb 2021   Garry Ralph

I would like to say my experience with Mr Brookman was an extremely positive experience. His knowledge, advice and compassion put me very much at ease and made a very difficult situation much more bearable.

Feb 2021   Jenny Brock

Very helpful, and honest about my situation even though it wasn’t business for them at this time. Would recommend.

Jan 2021   Natalie Roche

Knowledgable, friendly, considerate, and most importantly easy to contact. Brilliant service.

Dec 2020   John Du

I want to highly commend Brookman Solicitors firm. I had the privilege of getting very thorough and sensible advice from their solicitor Jennifer Douglas. I don't have enough praise for her.

Sep 2020   Yesima Hamid

I had an initial consultation and Henry was well prepared. He gave great advice and followed through quite quickly. He was very helpful.

Jul 2020   Jen Ade

I had a free consultation with Henry Brookman. He was incredibly knowledgeable about my complex situation, gave straightforward advice and empowered me to understand exactly how I need to proceed.

Jun 2020   Rebeca Brown

About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law team, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Henry Brookman has practised law for over 45 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

Partner

Henry Brookman

With over 45 years' experience, Henry Brookman is the senior member of the team. He is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

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Partner

Talitha Brookman

Talitha is a Partner in the firm and a very experienced practitioner. She has been exclusively practising family law for over 15 years and is a recognised expert in her field.

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Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is a Partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and has been recommended by the Legal 500.

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Solicitor

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

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Solicitor

Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer is a talented solicitor, experienced in all elements of family law, including high net worth financial proceedings, Children Act proceedings and financial claims.

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Solicitor

Gavin Yeung

Gavin has excellent experience in family law including divorce and financial proceedings and international child abduction proceedings involving Hague Convention countries.

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Chartered Legal Executive

Lorraine Imms

With over 20 years' family law experience, Lorraine can advise on divorce, matrimonial finances, cohabitee disputes, nuptial agreements and private children matters.

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Office Manager

Lorna Martin

Lorna is our Office Manager who oversees the operations of the firm including providing accounts support as well as secretarial support to the team.

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Accounts Manager

Evdokia Dikova

Eva is an AAT qualified accounts manager and holds full AAT membership (MAAT). She gained her degree in financial accounting from the University of Economics in Bulgaria.

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Secretary

Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

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Secretary

Michelle Louison

Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

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Front of House Manager

Patricia Antonio

Patricia is an experienced secretary and office administrator, handling the calls that come into the office, greeting clients, and managing office presentation.

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