The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 came into effect in Ireland on 1 January 2011 making provision for same sex couples to register their union as a partnership and avail of rights now conferred by the Act on registered partnerships.
In light of the Referendum on same sex marriage which passed on Saturday 23rd May 2015 in Ireland, legislation is due to be enacted this summer which will pave the way for the first same sex marriages in the state by Christmas this year.
In the meantime, a registered civil partnership is a legally binding civil contract for same sex couples. Entering into a civil partnership gives rise to many far-reaching legal consequences which are generally similar to the legal consequences of getting married. It changes your legal position, even after death.
The Act provides for a statutory civil partnership registration scheme for same-sex couples and provides that civil partners have broadly the same rights as married couples in areas such as maintenance, the family home, succession, pensions and a range of other civil laws
The act also provides for rights and redress for dependent long-term cohabitants. These are either unmarried opposite sex couples or same sex couples who have not yet registered their partnership. Please view our dedicated section on unregistered cohabitants for more detail.
In general civil partnership strengthens your rights and entitlements in the following areas:
- Maintenance can be claimed by dependent civil partners on the dissolution of a partnership
- Civil partners can avail of tax benefits similar to those of married couples
- Life insurance and pensions
- Civil partners can avail of the similar tax benfits and Succession Act rights on Inheritance as spouses in a marriage
- Civil partner are treated similar to married couples for Social Welfare entitlements
- The primary residence of registered civil partners can be treated as a Shared Home to protect the rights of the non-owning partner
- Barring, Safety and Protection Orders can be sought for affected parties in a civil partnership
Other areas where rights now exist to civil partners are in the areas of:
- Civil liability
- Applications under the Mental Health Acts.
- Enduring Powers of attorney
- Property disputes
We act and advise Civil Partners in relation to protection of their rights and entitlements. We are happy to matter for a no obligation consultation.