Somerset County Council
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Civil partnerships

 

We offer civil partnership ceremonies, enabling same-sex couples to gain legal recognition of their relationship. The partners gain similar rights and responsibilities to married couples.

A civil partnership can be formed by two people of the same sex who are:

  • Over 16 years of age. If either of the couple are under 18 years of age they must provide the written consent of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) before registering a civil partnership
  • Not already in a civil partnership or marriage
  • Some relationships by blood, marriage or adoption mean that, due to the closeness of their relationship to each other, they cannot form a civil partnership

Please contact your local Register Office for advice. Please see the contacts section at the bottom of this page for details.

Key steps
The key steps you need to take to book your ceremony are outlined below. 

1) Decide on your venue and arrange the date and time for your ceremony with them.

2) Contact the Register Office for the district where the venue is located to check the availability of the registrars. You can only make a provisional booking at this point, which will be confirmed when you ‘give notice’.

3) Both you and your partner need to contact the Register Office for the district in which you live to arrange an appointment to ‘give notice’. Notice cannot be given more than 12 months before the ceremony and you should have lived in the area for at least 7 days before giving notice. If you and your partner live in different districts you will each need to go separately to your local Register Office. If you live in the same district you will usually be asked to attend together. You will be asked for details of the time, date and venue of the ceremony as well as your name, age, nationality, address, and marital status along with proof. Examples of the types of documentation to bring along are:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate 
  • Driving licence
  • Bank statement - less than one month old
  • Utility bill - less than three months old

If you have changed your name for reasons other than marriage you will need to bring along documentary evidence of the name change. If you have been married before or have previously formed a civil partnership you will need to provide evidence that you are now legally free to form a civil partnership. Types of evidence accepted for this purpose could include:

  • A divorce decree absolute
  • Final order of dissolution of a civil partnership
  • Death certificate from a former wife, husband or civil partner. Please note that all documents provided should be originals. Any documents which are not in English will need to be supplied with a translation. Details are then put on public display at a designated Register Office for the area for 15 clear days.

Please note that with effect from 1 November 2017 consideration of foreign divorce documents will be subject to a fee of £50.00, in certain circumstances this may increase to £75.00 if the document needs to be referred to the General Register Office. The fee is payable at the time of the notice of marriage appointment, is non-refundable and does not guarantee approval of the documents.

4) After the 28 days waiting period you will be able to form your civil partnership as long as no legal impediments have been shown to exist. Details of special procedures for people in extreme circumstances can be obtained by viewing the General Register Office website or contacting your local Register Office.

Each civil partnership ceremony at a Register Office is given a 45 minute appointment. The ceremony lasts between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on your requirements. Although most couples like to mark the occasion with a ceremony, there is no legal requirement to hold a ceremony and a civil partnership can legally be formed by the couple signing a document without repeating any words. 

Costs
Giving notice - £35 each.

A civil partnership ceremony at the Old Municipal Buildings
Vivary Room seats up to 40 people - £150 including certificate
Tudor Hall seats up to 100 people - £300 including certificate

A civil partnership ceremony at Abbey Manor Conference Centre - Yeovil 
Seats up to 40 persons £150 including certificate Saturdays only

A standard civil partnership ceremony 
Couple plus two witnesses including certificate - £50 at the following locations
Monday to Friday:

  • Somerset Register Office - Taunton
  • Bridgwater Registration Office
  • Shepton Mallet Registration Office
  • Williton Registration Office
  • Yeovil Registration Office

A civil partnership ceremony at an approved premises 
Civil partnership ceremony including certificate:
Monday to Thursday - £420
Friday and Saturday - £450
Sunday - £500
Bank Holidays - £600

Contacts
You can have a civil partnership ceremony at any approved premises or you can hold it at a Register Office. For further information about approved premises please see our Approved premises in Somerset  page.

Contact details and opening times of our Register Office and all our Registration Offices  

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