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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Civil Partnership Advice Lawyers London

A change in legislation that came into effect on 1st October has given couples tying the knot greater freedom of choice in the time their ceremony takes place.

People wanting to get married or register a civil partnership will be able to do so any time of the day or night under the Protection of Freedoms Act. Couples were previously restricted to between 8am and 6pm.

Mark Harper, Home Office Minister with responsibility for the General Register Office, said: 'The public requested that we repeal this law and we listened.

'Removing these restrictions will give people greater freedom of choice when planning their big day.'

This change is one of a number of measures being introduced as part of the Protection of Freedoms Act, which received Royal Assent in May this year. It was raised by members of the public through a cross-government survey, ‘Your Freedom’.

People had the chance to suggest ideas on restoring liberties that have been lost, repealing unnecessary laws and stripping away excessive regulation. The Act aims to put traditional British freedoms at the heart of the Whitehall agenda.

The change is permissive in that neither local authorities or religious groups are required to provide services outside the traditional hours.

The Law Commission has published a supplementary consultation paper on needs and non-matrimonial property.

The consultation is seeking views on two specific aspects of the law relating to financial provision on divorce:

  • to what extent one spouse should be required to meet the other’s financial needs, and what exactly is meant by needs; and
  • what happens to property that one of the partners owned before the relationship or acquired during the course of it.

Launching the consultation, Law Commissioner Professor Elizabeth Cooke said:

“When two people bring their marriage or civil partnership to an end it is vital that the law is able to help them resolve their financial arrangements as quickly and fairly as possible. The current law creates too much potential for uncertainty and inconsistency. We are seeking consultees’ views on a range of short- and long-term reforms, with the aim of bringing as much certainty as possible to this difficult area of law.”

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

The Office for National Statistics has published a bulletin giving statistics on live births in England and Wales in 2011 by parents’ country of birth.

The statistics reveal that a quarter of births in 2011 were to mothers born outside the UK, which is a slight increase from 2010.

Poland remains the most common country of birth for non-UK born mothers in 2011 and Pakistan remains the most common country of birth for non-UK born fathers. Newham remains the local authority with the highest proportion of births to non-UK born women 77% in 2011.

In 2011, a much higher proportion of births to non UK-born women took place within marriage/ civil partnership (75%) than for UK-born mothers (45%). This is a similar pattern to previous years.

There is considerable variation in the proportion of births within marriage/civil partnership depending on the country of birth of the mother, for example, 93% of births to mothers born in North Africa took place within marriage/civil partnership in 2011 in comparison to 38% of births to mothers born in the Caribbean. These variations reflect different societal expectations between cultures, for example, the acceptability of cohabitation.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

Think tank Policy Exchange has published a paper examining the case for equal marriage.

The report takes a detailed looked at the pros and cons of same sex marriage, and claims that the balance of argument favours equal marriage.

The report recommends that:

  • Same sex couples should be allowed to marry and given the same benefits of marriage as heterosexual couples.
  • Religious bodies or institutions should not be forced to carry out same sex marriages on their premises.
  • Religious bodies or institutions should be allowed to ‘opt in’ if they wish to carry out a same sex marriage on their premises.
  • A fast track should be provided for existing civil partners who wish to transfer to full marriage.
  • Once equal marriage has been introduced, no new civil partnerships should be created.

David Skelton, co-author of the paper, said: “Marriage brings with it hundreds of years of history and a long record of providing stability. It is understandable that some religious bodies do not want to marry same sex couples and the state should respect their choice. Likewise, other religious bodies might wish to carry out gay marriage ceremonies on their premises and they should be able to opt in if they so wish.

“Gay people do not want to change the nature of marriage as some have argued. They just want to be part of an institution that transcends communities, promotes commitment and fidelity, as well as providing stability and a valuable social support structure.”

The TUC has welcomed the government's consultation on giving lesbian and gay partners the same right to civil marriage as heterosexual couples.

Currently the law only allows civil partnerships for same sex couples while marriage is reserved for heterosexual partners, so the TUC supports the government's decision to review this. 

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Opening up civil marriage to same sex couples would be a welcome step forward on the long journey towards achieving equality for LGBT people.

'However, not including religious ceremonies for same sex couples or civil partnerships to heterosexuals who might want this option in the consultation is very short-sighted - and shows we still have a very long way to go before we can talk about real equality and inclusion.'

The government consultation on equal civil marriage is open until 14th June 2012. The reform would have the force of law in England and Wales, but not Scotland or Northern Ireland.


A recent statistical release from the Office for National Statistics has provided data on live births in England and Wales in 2010 by characteristics of the mother, including age and family setting.

The Government has recently announced that it will begin consulting in March 2012 on how to make civil marriage available to same-sex couples.

A recent report by the Office for National Statistics has looked at the development of civil partnerships in England and Wales since their introduction in December 2005.

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