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How to convert a civil partnership into marriage

If you already have a civil partnership you can convert it to a marriage by following several straightforward legal steps.

Converting a civil partnership into a marriage means you can state on official forms that you are married rather than in a civil partnership, which has been referred to as ‘forced outing’ because it means you effectively declare your sexuality. By marrying, civil partners living abroad could also gain certain rights if the country they live in doesn’t recognise civil partnerships.

You can choose to hold a marriage ceremony if you wish to celebrate with friends and family, or simply follow the administration process at a register office, commonly called a registry office.

Turning your civil partnership into a marriage involves laws introduced in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and broadly requires you to:

  1. Contact a register office
  2. Sign the declaration for conversion

Or

  1. Book a ceremony with a venue registered to perform marriages
  2. Hold a ceremony with family and friends
  3. Sign the declaration for conversion

For more personalised advice about turning a civil partnership into a marriage – or if you would like more information about a civil partnership – the family law solicitors at First4lawyers can help. Get in touch today for a no-obligation discussion.

How to convert a civil partnership at the register office

Contact your nearest register office and arrange an appointment. Ensure you have your original civil partnership certificate, and a form of ID. If you have lost your certificate, you can order a new one from the General Register Office for £9.25.

At the appointment, you’ll declare your consent for marriage and sign the conversion certificate. You’ll need to pay a fee of £4 for a marriage certificate, and £45 for the conversion.

How to convert a civil partnership with a ceremony

If you want a more traditional wedding ceremony to convert your civil partnership, you can arrange this in a very similar way as you would any other marriage.

You can find a registered venue using the government database, or contact a religious building that allows same sex couples to get married – you will have to contact them directly to arrange this.

You’ll have an appointment with a superintendent registrar to discuss elements such as the wording of the ceremony, and any other details you wish to include. You don’t legally require any witnesses to sign the certificate, but you are welcome to invite loved ones.

After the ceremony, yourself, your partner and the registrar will need to sign the conversion certificate. You’ll need to pay both the marriage certificate fee (£4) and the conversion fee (£45), along with a £27 appointment fee. The cost of the ceremony will vary by venue.

Want to speak to an expert?

If you have any questions or concerns about changing your civil partnership into a marriage, please contact First4lawyers today to speak to a law specialist who can help to ensure you meet your wishes.

Note: First4lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances and not rely on First4lawyers’ online information alone.