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Guidance on civil partnerships in Northern Ireland

alt="" Since 2005, it has been possible to enter into a civil partnership in Northern Ireland. Find out more on making arrangements and choosing a venue.

Who can enter into civil partnerships in Northern Ireland?

Any two persons, regardless of where they live, may enter into a civil partnership in Northern Ireland, provided that:

  • both persons are at least 16 years of age on the day of the civil partnership registration - persons over 16 years and under 18 years of age require parental consent
  • they are not related to one another in a way, which would prevent their civil partnership registration
  • they are unmarried or are not already in a civil partnership (any person who has already been married or in a civil partnership must produce documentary evidence that the previous marriage has been ended by death, divorce or annulment, or the previous civil partnership has been dissolved)
  • they are of the same sex
  • they are capable of understanding the nature of a civil partnership

You can find out more about the types of relationships within which civil partnerships are unlawful at the following page.

Making arrangements for civil partnership registration

It is important to make early arrangements for the date and time of your civil partnership registration. In order to obtain the date of your choice, you should plan well in advance to avoid disappointment.

You should arrange for two persons, aged 16 years or over, to be present at your civil partnership registration to act as witnesses.

You should let the Registrar know if you change your plans or decide to postpone your civil partnership registration.

Choice of venue

The civil partnership registration may take place in a Registrar’s Office or at an approved place.

Alternatively, if you wish to apply for a temporary approval for civil partnership registration at a place of your own choice, such as your own home, you should contact the Registrar of the District in which the civil partnership will be registered who will advise you about the fee and the application procedure.