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.  As with divorce, the one ground for applying for dissolution of a civil partnership is that the civil partnership has broken down irretrievably.

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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Sep 2023   Mario Ignatov

I only had my initial free review with Amelia yet I already feel much more strengthened in my legal and financial position. I am currently reflecting on the steps I want to take to negotiate my desired outcome of the financial settlement but, when I am ready to use the services of a lawyer, Amelia is definitely the top on my list.

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I had a zoom consultation with Lauren Moir and she was incredible. Very patient, insightful and reassuring. She also advised me based on my previous conversations with another firm and also clarified various positions I am in. Highly recommend.

Aug 2023   Gary Hawes

I was very impressed with the friendly, helpful and professional service offered by Brookman Solicitors. The generous advice and knowledge offered during the initial free consultation has enabled us to have a much better understanding of our case and plan a way forward.

Jul 2023   Peter Jackson

I had a first consultation with Kevin, who very diligently and professionally provided an exhaustive overview of the divorce process and the best approach for my specific case.

Jul 2023   Giulia Matteo

Great service and excellent advice at the initial consultation. I would certainly recommend and use in the future.

Jul 2023   Tom James

Spoke to a kind solicitor this morning who took an hour of her time to talk me through some advice relating to a difficult separation.... She was clear and helpful with her advice, leaving me feeling much more confident with the process ahead of me.

Jun 2023   Luke Taylor

Mr Brookman provided very clear advice that left me with no doubt about the options and next steps. Getting specific advice with the requirements in the different jurisdictions was particularly useful so I won’t need to consult another lawyer outside of the UK

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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’.

Partner

Philip Morton

Recommended by The Legal 500, Philip is an expert in all areas of family law, including domestic and international financial disputes, fraud and commercial dispute resolution.

Partner

Natasha Slabas

Expert in all areas of family law, often involving cases that have an international element, including work in relation to financial settlements following divorce.

Partner

Aziz Malik

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

Partner

Mark Rennie

Mark is the Group Head of the Horsham Family Law team. He specialises in all areas of matrimonial law, including complex divorce and financial disputes, and is recommended by The Legal 500.

Partner

Nigel Winter

A highly experienced solicitor, Nigel has expertise in collaborative law, divorce, contested litigation, relationship agreements, and children matters. Nigel is recommended by The Legal 500.

Partner

Samantha Jago

Partner at our Guildford office and recommended by The Legal 500, Samantha has specialist expertise in divorce, children matters, complex international cases, and is a trained mediator.

Partner

Amanda Glass

Amanda is a highly experienced family law partner providing expert advice on all aspects of family law, divorce and separation with an emphasis on financial remedy cases.

Partner

Alicia Cenizo

Alicia is a Partner in the family team and advises on all elements of family law, particularly private children work, including matters with an international element such as relocation.

Senior Associate

Joanna Potbury

Family law specialist based in Brighton advising on divorce, cohabitation agreements, children, post-nuptial agreements, and domestic violence. Joanna is recommended by The Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Kirsty Kelleher

Kirsty is a specialist family law solicitor recommended by The Legal 500. An expert in divorce, financial matters, child-related disputes and contentious probate cases.

Senior Associate

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.

Senior Associate

Ella Welsby

Known for her sensitivity and discretion combined with significant expertise, Ella advises on all family issues including high-value and multi-jurisdiction divorce and complex financial and children matters.

Senior Associate

Gemma Garrett

Based in Horsham, Gemma is a specialist advising on all areas of family law including divorce and separation (often involving jurisdiction issues), complex financial matters, and children matters.

Senior Solicitor

Susan Hayes

Susan qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and is based at our Brighton office. She is a longstanding member of the Law Society Specialist Children Panel and Family Law Panel. Susan is also a trained Collaborative Lawyer.

Associate Solicitor

Lauren Moir

Lauren is a highly regarded specialist family law solicitor, based at our Guildford office. She advises on divorce, family finances, children matters, domestic abuse, cohabitee issues, and relationship agreements.

Solicitor

Rachael Au

Rachael is a highly capable member of the family team in Brighton. She specialises in family law, advising on divorce, civil partnerships, financial matters, and children issues.

Solicitor

Amber Matheson

Based at the Guildford office, Amber has experience dealing with family matters including divorce, finances, separation after cohabitation, arrangements for children and leave to remove cases.

Solicitor

Amelia Groom

Amelia has experience across a full range of family matters, including divorce, complex disputes regarding finances that range from trusts through to cryptocurrencies, and arrangements for children.

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.

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.

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.

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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