Convert civil partnership to marriage and marriage to civil partnership

From 7 December 2020 to 6 December 2023, couples in a same sex civil partnership or opposite sex marriage will be able to change their civil partnership to a marriage or marriage into a civil partnership.

Converting your relationship

You can convert your same sex civil partnership to a marriage if:

  • you formed a civil partnership in Northern Ireland
  • you formed a civil partnership abroad at a consular or embassy under the Civil Partnership (Registration Abroad and Certificates) Order 2005

or

  • you formed a civil partnership abroad where at least one party had an armed forces connection under the Civil Partnership (Armed Forces) Order 2005

You can convert your opposite sex marriage to a civil partnership if:

  • you solemnised a marriage in Northern Ireland
  • you solemnised a marriage abroad at a consular or embassy under Part 2 of The Consular Marriages and Marriages under Foreign Law (No.2) Order 2014

or

  • You solemnised a marriage abroad where at least one party had a armed forces connection under the Overseas Marriage (Armed Forces) Order 2014

Once a civil partnership is converted into a marriage or a marriage converted into a civil partnership:

  • the original civil partnership or marriage ends

and

  • the couple is treated as having been married or in a civil partnership since the date of the original event

The conversion converts one legal relationship into another.

Following the conversion, the couple will get a marriage or civil partnership certificate, dated from when the original relationship was formed.

Where a conversion can take place

You can convert your same sex civil partnership into a marriage at:

  • a register office
  • an approved venue

or

  • a place in Northern Ireland by an officiant who is authorised to conduct same sex marriage

You can convert a marriage to a civil partnership at:

  • a register office

 or

  • an approved venue

How to convert your relationship

There are two ways you can convert your relationship:

  • the standard procedure – providing the required information and signing of the conversion declaration at a registration office on the same occasion

or

  • two-stage procedure - providing the required information to the registrar and signing of the declaration takes place at a specified place and time

What you need to do

You should contact the local registration office in the district you wish the conversion of your relationship to take place.

It is important to make early arrangements with the registrar as you will both need to attend together at the registration office to submit the application and the required evidence which will be your current civil partnership or marriage certificate and proof of identity.

The registrar will be able to make an appointment for you for a date from 7 December 2020 onwards.

Advise the registrar which procedure you wish to follow and where you wish the signing of the conversion declaration to take place.

The registrar will ask you to fill out an application form  and will advise you how it should be sent to them. The application forms can be downloaded at the following links; 

How much it costs

There will be no cost for the signing of the conversion declaration in the first year (7 December 2020 to 6 December 2021).

A marriage or civil partnership certificate costs £8.00.

Councils may apply additional fees for attendance of a registrar at:

  • a registration office after 5.00pm, Monday to Friday or on a Saturday or bank holiday

or

  • an approved venue

The cost of the ceremony may vary by venue and council.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) conversion ceremony restrictions

Be aware that your conversion ceremony must be conducted under the current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions that apply in relation to marriages and civil partnerships.

 

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