Legal Rights in a Civil Partnership
Same sex couples who register their partnership will gain access to a number of legal rights. These rights include benefit of survivor pensions, recognition for immigration purposes, equal treatment for tax purposes which include inheritance tax, and protection for domestic violence. Civil partners will be able to access survivor pensions in public service schemes and contracted-out pension schemes taken out after 1988. Civil partners will be treated in the same way as spouses for tax purposes, including inheritence tax. For further information please visit www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk. If you form a civil partnership you will be treated jointly for income-related benefits. For further information on this please visit www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk. Civil partnership will also allow you responsibility for each other’s children, and you will have a duty to provide maintenance for your partner and any children of the family. If one of you dies after you have registered your Civil Partnership, then the surviving partner will automatically be entitled to inherit their partner’s estate if there is no will. They will have the right to register the death of their partner and be entitled to bereavement benefits. They will also have the right to claim a survivor pension, will have tenancy succession rights and will also be able to claim compensation for fatal accidents or criminal injuries. They will also be recognised under inheritance tax rules. Civil partners are exempt from testifying against each other in court, just like married couples.
On an emotional, rather than financial, level “next of kin” rights are perhaps the greatest advantage of civil partnership. In the event of your partner being hospitalised you will receive the visiting rights, and access to information, available only to “next of kin”
Somewhat controversially, civil partnership offers recognition of a relationship for immigration purposes.