Civil partners to receive backdated marriage certificates

Couples converting civil partnerships to marriages are to receive backdated marriage certificates.

Pink News reported on 3 October that the Government Equalities Office had confirmed that backdated certificates would be issued, rather than a certificate of conversion.

A spokesman for the office told Pink News that the certificate would be “almost identical to a marriage certificate issued without a conversion, but there will be a few necessary differences.”

“For example, to ensure that there is no doubt that the marriage is to be treated as having subsisted since the date the original civil partnership was formed, as required by the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, the marriage certificate will show the ‘when married’ date as the date the original civil partnership was formed.”

The certificate will also show the date the conversion took place, as the “when married” date will be before same sex marriages became legal in England on Wales, on 29 March this year.

Civil partners who wish to convert their civil partnership into marriage will be able to do so from Wednesday, 10 December 2014.

Hannah Kelly, head of Palmers’ Family Law team, said: said: “Couples in a same sex relationship might find it useful to talk to a legal professional before formalising their relationship, to clarify what marriage or civil partnership would mean for their family. 

“They might also find it helpful to seek legal advice on putting in place agreements about financial arrangements, either before or after the civil partnership or marriage, to protect assets brought into the relationship or accumulated during it. For more information, please contact our Family Law team.”