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What legal rights do marriage and civil partnerships offer?

Marriage and civil partnership are legal unions that have long been seen as significant milestones in a couple’s journey.

These institutions offer numerous benefits that extend beyond the romantic and emotional aspects of a relationship.

It is important to note that marriage and a civil partnership offer the same rights and often it just comes down to choice of which recognition couples would prefer.

Legal rights and protections

One of the fundamental advantages of marriage and civil partnership is the legal protection they afford to couples.

These unions provide a solid legal framework that ensures both partners have certain rights and obligations towards one another.

Some key legal benefits include:

Inheritance rights

Marriage and civil partnership offer automatic inheritance rights, allowing partners to inherit property, assets, and pensions in the event of the other partner’s death.

Next of kin

Being married or in a civil partnership grants partners legal recognition as each other’s next of kin. This status brings crucial decision-making powers in cases of medical emergencies or end-of-life care.

Automatic parental recognition

If a father is married to or in a civil partnership with the mother at the time of their child’s birth, they are automatically recognised as the parent whereas an unmarried father has to be named on the birth certificate for parental rights.

Immigration benefits

For couples with mixed nationalities, being married or in a civil partnership can simplify the immigration process and grant spousal visa rights, allowing partners to live and work together in the UK.

Financial advantages

Marriage and civil partnership also bring significant financial benefits for couples.

  • Tax benefits

Married couples and civil partners are eligible for tax breaks, such as the Marriage Allowance, which allows partners to transfer a portion of their unused tax allowance to their spouse or civil partner, potentially reducing their overall tax liability.

  • Pension benefits

Spouses and civil partners may be entitled to inherit a portion of their partner’s pension or receive survivor benefits, providing financial security in the future.

  • Shared finances

Being married or in a civil partnership can simplify joint financial management, making it easier to open joint bank accounts, obtain joint loans or mortgages, and share assets more efficiently.

For more information on the legal rights of marriage, get in touch with our team.

Stuart Daniel

Head of Family Department

I qualified as a Solicitor in 2006 and now specialise in divorce, financial settlements, childcare arrangements and Pre Nuptial Agreements. I have many years’ experience as a private family lawyer having worked with two other local firms before returning to Mander Hadley, where I first undertook work experience during my university studies.