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Registering a civil partnership

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

What is a civil partnership

A civil partnership is a legal relationship which can be registered by two people of the same sex. If you are in a gay or lesbian relationship, registering a civil partnership will give your relationship legal recognition. This will give you added legal rights, as well as responsibilities.

To register a civil partnership, you and your partner must sign a civil partnership document in front of two witnesses and a registrar.

In some situations, a same-sex couple who have not registered a civil partnership will have the same legal rights and responsibilities as a couple who have registered a civil partnership. This will be the case, for example, when working out your entitlement to welfare benefits and tax credits.

Further information

The nidirect website provides the following information on civil partnerships in Northern Ireland:

  • Who can register a civil partnership
  • How and when to give notice to register a civil partnership
  • What documents you need to register a civil partnership
  • The cost of registering a civil partnership
  • A list of district registrars
  • Venues approved for civil partnerships
  • People subject to immigration control

To view the information go to

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