Civil Partnership

civil-partnershipThe Civil Partnership Act 2004| came into effect on 5th December 2005. Details of the Legal Requirements for Registering a Civil Partnership, together with information about ceremonies, are included on this page.

What is a civil partnership?

The Civil Partnership Act came into force on 5th December 2005 enabling same-sex couples to gain legal recognition for their relationships as “Civil Partners”.

A Civil Partnership Registration is legally binding and enables same-sex couples to be treated equally, alongside couples who enter into marriage, in a wide range of legal matters from pension and maintenance rights, to child support and recognition under intestacy rules.

Who can Register a Civil Partnership?

A couple wishing to register a Civil Partnership must be of the same sex. Heterosexual couples may not register a Civil Partnership.

In order to register a Civil Partnership in the UK, the couple must:

  • Both be of the same sex;
  • Not already be in a Civil Partnership or Marriage;
  • Be 16 years of age or older;
  • Not be within the prohibited degrees of relationship

In England and Wales individuals who are aged 16 and 17 years of age will have to obtain the written consent of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) before registering a Civil Partnership.

The Legal Preliminaries to Civil Partnership in England and Wales

Before you can form a Civil Partnership in England and Wales, notice of your intention must first be given to the Superintendent Registrar for the district in which you live.

A notice of Civil Partnership is a legal document and is valid for one year.

Both parties must have lived in a Registration District within England and Wales for at least seven days before the giving of a legal notice. if you both live in the same district you will each be required to attend in person at your local register office to give legal notice to the Superintendent Registrar.

Your legal notice must be given personally and independently.

If you live in different districts, then each of you will need to give legal notice in your own Registratrion district.

After you have give your legal notice, you must then wait a further 15 clear days before you can form a Civil Partnership. The waiting period is an essential part of the law and everyone is expected to comply with it.

There is a statutory fee to enter legal notice payable at the time the notice is given, either by cash, cheque or debit/credit card. You will be asked to pay the ceremony fee in advance at this time also.

If you decide to pay by cheque, we are required to see a cheque guarantee card.

If you live in the County Borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, legal notice of intention to form a Civil Partnership should be given at the Register Office, Municpal Buildings, Gelliwastad Road, Pontypridd, CF37 2DP. Please ring to arrange a mutually convenient appointment on (01443) 486869, alternatively you can email us at: registrar@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk|

Where can a Civil Partnership registration take place?

When you give Legal Notice, you will be asked to state where you wish your Civil Partnership registration to take place. A Civil Partnership is formed when you both sign the relevant schedule in the presence of a Civil Partnership registrar and two witnesses.

The Civil Partnership comes into being once the second civil partner and both witnesses have signed the schedule. This is the action that forms the couple’s legal union.

You can if you wish arrange a Civil Partnership Ceremony to take place at the time of the Registration, but the Civil Partnership Act does not require a ceremony as part of the registration process.

Civil Partnership Ceremonies

We offer a wide choice of Civil Partnership ceremony formats, form a simple informal ceremony with just a few witnesses, to more formal ceremonies with attendants and guests.

Whatever kind of ceremony you wish to have, our dedicated team will help you plan it to make it a happy and memorable occasion.

Register Office Ceremony

Small room register office

Evan James Suite

The Registe Office is situated in the town centre at the Municipal Buildings, Gelliwastad Road, Pontypridd, CF37 2DP. There are two rooms available for ceremonies. The Register Office sits up to 10 people and the Evans James Suite sits up to 45 people.

You are of course welcome to view the rooms, at any time, before booking your ceremony. A small non-refundable booking fee is charged to provisionally book a date and time for your ceremony in advance of entering your legal notice.

We recognize that your Civil Partnership formation should be a memorable and special occasion. Our registration team are dedicated to ensuring that your ceremony will play an important part in that.

To ensure we get it just right, before the date of your ceremony, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire, which we would like you to return to us (at least one week before the date of your civil partnership) so we can arrange the ceremony according to your wishes.

Ceremonies are held between 9:30am and 3pm on weekdays and up to 1pm on Saturdays. We advise you make your booking well in advance to secure your preferred date and time.

Ceremonies at the Municipal Buildings normally take about 20 minutes. Guests should arrange to meet at the venue approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to start. Couples are asked to be on time as other ceremonies are booked at intervals throughout the day.

Ceremonies may be held on any day of the week except Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Please Note: On the day of the formation, you must be accompanied by a least two credible witnesses.

Parking

Unfortunately, parking facilities are not available at the Register Office. However, there is a large public car park situated at the "Goods Yard" (behind the Bus Station) nearby. The official car will be given a parking permit entitling them to park in the designated parking area at the side of the Municipal Buildings for the duration of the ceremony. Please note: spaces cannot be guaranteed.

Approved Premise Ceremony

Your Civil Parnership is a unique and special occasion and the venue you choose can help make this day a memorable and enchanting experience for both yourselves and your guests. Our venues offer couples the opportunity to have that perfect romantic day, offering memories to last a lifetime.

Married couple with wedding carIf you decide to hold your Civil Partnership ceremony at one of our Approved Premises, you should contact the venue of your choice to make a provisional booking. However, it is essential that you then immediately contact the Superintendent Registrar before making any other arrangements for your ceremony to ensure that a Civil Partnership registrar is available to attend on the day and time agree. A small non-refundable booking fee is charged to provisionally book a date and time for your ceremony in advance of entering your legal notice.

Once you have provisionally booked the date and time with the venue and the Superintendent Registrar you will need to make an appointment to give legal notice of your intention to enter into a Civil Partnership, to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you live.

Married couple withy bridesmaidesOnce legal notice has been entered, you will receive written confirmation of your booking assuring you of our attendance at your ceremony. In this confirmation we will ask you to arrange an appointment approximately 6 weeks prior to the ceremony to discuss the format and content of your ceremony and to pay our attendance fees.

On the day of the ceremony guests should be asked to arrive at the venue apporximately 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. Couples are asked to be on time as Registrar's often have to attend other ceremonies on a tight schedule. 

Ceremonies may be held on any day of the week except Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Approved premises within Rhondda Cynon Taf

 

A Civil Partnership Ceremony is a formal ceremony celebrating a couple's commitment to each other and also offers them the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate their relationship with family and friends.

Each ceremony is unique to the needs and requirements of the individual couple. Couples will be offered the chance to discuss their ceremony requirements with one of our experienced officers, enabling them to select and tailor the ceremony, making it a memorable, special and happy occasion for both themselves and their guests. Helping to create the ceremony of your dreams offering you a lifetime of memories to treasure together.

Couples sometimes wish to write their own special and meaningful words to one another or to enhance their ceremony further with readings or poetry (we have a selection for you to choose fromk or you may prefer to supply your own - if you would like to supply your own words, reading(s) or poetry, then we would need to see a copy prior to the day of the ceremony.

You will need to speak to the responsible person at the venue regarding facilities for your music. Generally speaking you will need at least four pieces of music to be played during the ceremony:-

  • As your guests arrive
  • If you choose to make an entrance
  • During the signing of the civil partnership schedule
  • At your departure

Please note: any enhancements chosen, including any music, poetry or readings, must be non-religious in nature.

Civil Partnership in a Church or other Religious Building

Couples wishing for Civil Partnership registrations to take place in religious buildings must wait for the necessary regulations to be set in place to enable this provision. it is expected to be in place by the end of 2011 subject to the will of Parliment. Preparations are now underway to finalize these plans. Once these regulations come into force local authorities may receive applications to approve religious premises for the registration of Civil Partnerships.

Fees

What is the cost of a Civil Partnership Ceremony at Pontypridd Register Office?

There are 4 separate parts to pay:

Booking Fee - This small non-refundable fee is a separate charge to secure your favoured date and time in advance of your ceremony.

Notice of Civil Partnership - This fee is paid to the Superintendent Registrar when you give your legal notice in the district where you live. It cannot be refunded if the ceremony is cancelled after legal notice has been entered.

Ceremony Fee- This fee is for the attendance of the Civil Partnership Registrar at your ceremony and is required in advance at the time of the notice. This fee can be refunded if the ceremony is cancelled as long as notice of cancellation is received in writing at least one month prior to the proposed ceremony.

Certificate Fee - You may require a legal certificate of your Civil Partnership for legal or evidential purposes. You may purchase as many as you wish on the day of your ceremony but they cannot be issued on the day as they must be recorded onto the central compurterized register as soon as is practicable. They will be sent on to you by post on the next working day. However, a Commemorative Certificate to mark the occasion may be issued at an extra fee.

Notice of Civil Partnership and Certificate fees are set by Statute. Other fees are set by the Local Authority. All fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.

Approved Venue Ceremonies

There are 4 Separate parts to pay

Booking Fee - This small non-refundable fee is a separate charge to secure your favoured date and time in advance of your ceremony.

Notice of Civil Partnership - This fee is paid to the Superintendent Registrar when you give your legal notice in the district where you live. It cannot be refunded if the ceremony is cancelled after legal notice has been entered.

Ceremony Fee - This fee is for the attendance of the Civil Partnersip Registrar at your ceremony and is required in advance approximately six weeks prior to the ceremony. This fee can be refunded if the ceremony is cancelled as long as notice of cancellation is received in writing at least one month prior to the proposed ceremony.

Certificate Fee - You may require a legal certificate of your Civil Partnership for legal or evidential purposes. You may purchase as many as you wish on the day of your ceremony but they cannot be issued on the day as they must be recorded onto the central computerized register as soon as is practicable. They will be sent on to you by post on the next working day. However a Commemorative Certificate to mark the occasion may be issued at an extra fee.

Notice of Civil Partnership and Certificate fees are set by Statute. Other fees are set by the Local Authority. All fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.

Please note: a further charge is also likely to be made by the owners of the building for the use of the premises.

Table of Current Fees for Approved Venue Ceremonies

Making a Provisional Booking

A notice of Civil Partnership is valid for one year, but it is always advisable to make a booking as soon as you can. This applies whether your ceremony is to be held at the Register Office or in one of our Approved Premises.

Most venues within the district run a provisional booking system. This allows you to book your ceremony further ahead enabling couples to make all the necessary arrangements in good time.

A provisional booking should be made in writing to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you intend to hold your ceremony. Your legal notice of Civil Partnership must then be given to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you live, within one year of the date of the ceremony regardless of where within England and Wales the Civil Partnership is to take place.

Please note:  Rhondda Cynon Taf now charge a non-refundable booking fee at the time of the booking to provisionally secure the date and time of your ceremony.

Further Information 

Further information/advice is available from the following websites:

Contact Information

If you would like to make a provisional booking for a ceremony please contact your local register office:

Superintendent Registrar
District Register Office
Municipal Buildings
Gelliwastad Road
Pontypridd
CF37 2DP

Telephone: 01443 486869
Email: registrar@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk|

If you would like to complete a short survey on our standards of service please click on the link below

Civil Partnership Survey/Questionnaire|