Jul 2010 | Civil Partnership legislation

The legislation on civil partnership (same sex couples only) has been enacted but has not yet come into force.

The Act creates a new legal relationship of civil partnership for same sex couples who choose to register their relationship which may end only on the death of a partner or on dissolution by court.

It is anticipated that the legislation will be brought into force when the social welfare and tax legislative changes are introduced which it is assumed will generally equate civil partners to spouses for social welfare and taxation purposes. Until then, while the framework for the civil partnership registration is in place (including details of the succession rights of the civil partners as being almost equivalent to that of spouses), no registrations can take place. 

Under the legislation equivalent foreign partnerships can be recognised but only on Ministerial Order. It is anticipated that the Minister will order that the civil partnerships of other countries will be recognised if the form of such partnerships are similar to ours, such as the equivalent in the UK.

In the legislation introducing the concept of civil partners also, somewhat confusingly, introduced legislation regarding cohabiting couples of same or opposite sex. For more commentary on this see link.

For more details on this, see the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010.

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Aileen Keogan | Solicitor & Tax Consultant | 21 The Avenue | Louisa Valley | Leixlip | Co. Kildare | Ireland

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