Civil partnerships: arrangement and ceremony

In addition to getting married, same sex couples can also 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 ceremonies are offered to those couples who want them. The legal recognition of a partnership is achieved by the acknowledgement of the words contained in a schedule, and the signing of that schedule in the presence of the Partnership Registrar and two witnesses.

Civil partnership formations may take place at any Register Office in England and Wales or 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.

Further information can be found at GOV.UK  Marriages and Civil Partnerships .

For details of the fees 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 immediately before giving notice at the register office. If you both live in the same district, you will each give notice at the same office. If you live in different registration districts, you will each give notice separately in your own area. However, if one or both of the couple are subject to immigration control, both must attend together at a designated Register Office, irrespective of the district where they live. The nearest offices to Calderdale are Leeds and Manchester.

  • A notice of civil partnership is valid for twelve months.
    You may therefore not give notice of civil partnership to the Partnership Registrar more than twelve months before the date of your formation.
  • A notice is only valid for the venue named on it.
    Whereas it may be possible to alter the date of your formation (provided it is before the expiry date), a change of venue would require a fresh notice and fee.

After giving notice you must wait a further 28 clear days before the formation can take place (for example, if notice is given on 1 July, the partnership ceremony can take place on or after 28 July). Book an appointment to give notice .

Both authorities must have been issued on or before the date of the formation.

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

Documents required by law

When you attend before a Partnership Registrar to make formal arrangements, you will need to produce certain documents.

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 (both parts).

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.