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About dissolution

The courts can dissolve civil partnerships in a similar way to the granting of divorce. A decree of dissolution allows both parties to a civil partnership to marry or enter into a new civil partnership.

Can other matters be dealt with at the same time?

Yes. Additional (ancillary) orders can be applied for in the process of dissolution. They are similar to the orders that can be applied for in the process of divorce and judicial separation and include the payment of maintenance and lump sums, the transfer of property and the extinguishment of succession rights and pension rights. 

In any application for a decree of dissolution, the court can review any previous arrangements made by the parties such as a separation agreement, particularly if the circumstances of either party has changed.

How to apply for a dissolution

Proceedings in the Circuit Court are commenced by lodging an original civil partnership civil bill and an affidavit of means. There is no requirement to submit an affidavit of welfare (in respect of dependent children) or a document certifying that you have been advised of the alternatives to dissolution, as is required in divorce applications.

The procedure to be followed is similar to applying for a divorce decree.


You can engage a solicitor to make an application on your behalf or you can make an application yourself. You may be entitled to legal aid.

If you choose not to engage a solicitor you will need to contact the Circuit Court office in the county where you or your partner live or carry on business. Court staff will identify the forms you need to make your application but cannot tell you what to put in the forms. You areresponsible for service of your documents and you must also attend in court on the day to make your application. 

Court forms:

S.I. No. 510 of 2001, Circuit Court Rules, 2001

Relevant Legislation:

  • Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act, 2010
  • S.I. No. 348 of 2011: Rules of the Superior Courts (Civil Partnership and Cohabitation 2010) 2011
  • S.I. No. 385 of 2011: Circuit Court Rules (Civil Partnership and Cohabitation 2010) 2011