Civil partnerships: arrangement and ceremony

In addition to marriage, same-sex couples can make a legal and binding commitment to each other by forming a civil partnership.

There is no obligation to take part in a ceremony, but they are offered to those who want them. The legal recognition of a partnership is achieved by the acknowledgement of the words contained in a schedule. This schedule is signed in the presence of the Partnership Registrar and two witnesses.

Civil partnership formations can take place at any Register Office in England and Wales. Also, at premises approved by a local authority for the formation of civil partnerships. For a list of venues in Calderdale, see: Approved venues for ceremonies .

Working within the guidelines provided, couples can select words, readings and poems that hold a special meaning to them. They may choose a role for friends or family within the ceremony. This makes the occasion a meaningful, shared experience.

Ceremonies are secular and must contain no religious references.

For more information, visit: Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Gov.uk).

For details on charges for civil partnership arrangements and ceremonies, see: Fees .

The legal formalities

Both of you must have lived in a registration district in England or Wales for at least seven days. this is immediately before giving notice at the register office. If you both live in the same district, you will give notice at the same office. If you live in different registration districts, you will give notice separately, in your own district.

Note: If one or both of you are subject to immigration control, both must attend the designated Register Office, together. This is irrespective of the district where you live. The nearest offices to Calderdale are Leeds and Manchester.

  • A notice of civil partnership is valid for twelve months.

    You cannot give the Superintendent Registrar notice of marriage more than twelve months before the date of your wedding.
  • A notice is only valid for the venue named on it.

    It can be possible to alter the date of your marriage (provided it is before the expiry date). To change the location you need a new notice and fee.

After giving notice, you must wait a further 28 clear days before the marriage can take place. For example, if notice is given on 1st July, the marriage may take place on or after 28 July.

To give notice: Book an appointment to give notice . Note: Both authorities must have been issued on or before the day of the marriage.

Civil partnership notices are taken by appointment only at Calderdale Register Office .

Documents required by law

To make formal arrangements with Superintendent Registrars, you must produce documents confirming your name, age, marital status and nationality.

Evidence of Name, Surname, Date of Birth and Nationality

  • a current valid passport;
  • a valid national identity card issued by an European Economic Area (EEA) state or Switzerland;
  • Or for people born in the UK only a full UK birth certificate. If you were born after 1 January 1983 you will also need your mother's birth certificate (or other proof of her nationality at the time).

Evidence of Place of Residence

  • Utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the appointment (gas/electric/water/landline/broadband/cable - not a mobile phone bill);
  • Bank statement dated no more than one month before the appointment;
  • Council tax bill dated no more than one year before the appointment;
  • Mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the appointment;
  • Valid driving licence.

Other required evidence

  • if you have been widowed, the death certificate of your former spouse / civil partner;
  • if you are divorced or your previous civil partnership has been dissolved, the decree absolute / dissolution certificate;*
  • if you have changed your name, Deed Poll documents;
  • if you are under 18 years of age, a completed consent form.

* For divorces granted outside the British Isles, you must send a copy of your paperwork to the Register Office. They can then check this before your appointment. If the paperwork is not in English, you must provide a certified translation.

From 1st November 2017 there is a fee for this. The fee depends on where your divorce was granted. You will be advised of this when you submit your paperwork.

Note: The fee is payable at your appointment in addition to your notice fee.