Civil partnerships allow same-sex couples the chance to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as people who are married. Civil partnerships are only available to couples of the same sex.
Forming a civil partnership can affect your entitlement to benefits. Contact a local advice agency if you are unsure what benefits you are entitled to.
Two people can form a civil partnership if:
- they are of the same sex
- they aren’t already married or in another civil partnership
- they are over sixteen (and have consent if they are under 18).
Splitting up with your partner
Civil partnerships can affect your right to stay in your home if your relationship breaks down. Civil partners who break up have the same rights as people who are married who break up. Look at families and relationships for more information on your rights if you are splitting up with a partner.
Staying in the home if your partner dies
If you rent from the council or a housing association and your civil partner dies and they are the sole tenant, you will usually have the right to stay in the home. This process is known as succession. Only one succession is allowed per tenancy, so if your partner had succeeded to the tenancy, for example following the death of a parent, you will not be able to succeed to the tenancy on your partner’s death.
You may also be able to stay in your home if you rent from a private landlord. However, this depends on your tenancy type.
If you don’t know your tenancy type read renting agreements or contact a Shelter Cymru adviser.
Passing on my tenancy during my lifetime
This process is known as assignment. If you have a secure tenancy this can be assigned to civil partners and to couples that haven’t registered a civil partnership. Normally you can’t assign other tenancy types, but it depends what it says in your agreement. If you are unsure, contact a Shelter Cymru adviser.
What about my benefits?
Civil partners are assessed in the same way as married couples. If you are currently claiming as a single person you may have to file a new claim as a couple. Contact your local benefits agency for more information if you are unsure.
Housing benefit/council tax benefit
If you are living as a same-sex couple your housing benefit could be affected, even if you haven’t formed a civil partnership. Only one person can make a claim for housing benefit and the resources of the other will be taken into account when working out your housing benefit.