Changes to the regulations around civil partnerships are due to come into force in April 2023.
The procedure by which certain civil partnerships can become marriages, other than by taking part in a marriage ceremony, is currently set out in the Marriage Between Civil Partners (Procedure for Change and Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2014. These Regulations state that if you entered into a civil partnership in Scotland, you can change it via an administrative process or by having a marriage ceremony. If you entered into a civil partnership outside of Scotland, then you are unable to use the administrative process and will still require to undergo a marriage ceremony.
This article deals solely with those who entered into a civil partnership in Scotland, and now wish to convert it into a marriage.
The administrative process by which civil partners can convert their partnership into a marriage without the need for a wedding ceremony is fairly straightforward. You arrange an appointment with your local registrar to change your civil partnership into a marriage. Before going to such an appointment, certain forms require to be completed. These forms can be obtained either from the National Records of Scotland website or from the registry office itself.
When you go to the registration office, you'll need to take:
- Your form (as set out above).
- The entry in the civil partnership register about your civil partnership.
- Photo ID for both of you (for example your passport or driving licence).
This part of the process has not changed.
Changes to the current regulations are due to come into force on 24th April 2023 following the passing of The Marriage Between Civil Partners (Procedure for Change and Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2023 by the Scottish Parliament at the end of February 2023. Again, these changes will apply only to those who entered into a civil partnership in Scotland.
The 2023 regulations will change the procedure as to what is entered on the certificate. In particular, the date and place to be entered in the marriage register when a civil partnership is changed into a marriage will be the date and place of the signing of the application form to convert by the parties and district registrar. Despite this, the couple will be treated as having been married to one another since the date on which their civil partnership was registered.
So, what will your marriage certificate say? The certificate will state the date and place where you signed the application seeking to convert from a civil partnership into a marriage. And, it will also include information detailing that the marriage has been changed from a civil partnership and include the date of the registration of the civil partnership – as that is the date from which the couple are to be treated as having been married.
There will also be an increase in fees with the application costing £45.