Same-Sex Couples

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Same-Sex Couples

When dealing with family law issues as a same-sex couple, getting advice and support from a legal team with specialist experience representing LGBT clients can help you to get the right outcome for even the most challenging circumstances.

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Our Family Law team are experienced in helping same-sex couples with all areas of family law. We can guide you through dealing with issues such as divorce and civil partnership dissolution, parental rights, pre-nuptial agreements and pre-civil partnership agreements. We also have very strong experience helping clients who have experienced domestic violence in their relationship

We offer a sensitive but practical approach to family law, with particular expertise in advising medium and high net worth clients. Whatever your circumstances and concerns, we can find a positive way forward that meets your needs and protects you and your loved ones.

To speak to a member of our Family Law team about advice for same-sex couples or to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation, please contact your local IBB Law office in Beaconsfield, Reading or Uxbridge, or email

Why IBB Law are the best choice for same-sex family law advice

We are not your typical law firm. Instead, we offer unrivalled legal expertise and an exceptional level of personal service, with particular experience advising medium and high net worth individuals and couples. We also have strong experience in assisting people who have experienced issuing including domestic abuse and coercive control.

Our Family Law team is led by Amanda Melton a highly respected lawyer with strong expertise in complex and high value financial assets. Amanda has been recognised in leading client guide the Legal 500 for combining “exceptional professional knowledge with strong interpersonal skills” and for her “straight-talking approach and honesty about the potential pitfalls of a case”.

We are known as one of the most effective teams of family lawyers in the South East, being ranked Tier 1 by the Legal 500 for Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex, and Band 2 ranked by Chambers & Partners for Watford, Uxbridge and the surrounding area.

How we can help you with family law for same-sex couples

Same-sex divorce

When getting divorced, there are all sorts of practical issues you will need to think about, as well as dealing with the emotional impact of your relationship ending. Our family law team can advise you on every aspect of your divorce, including:

  • Initiating divorce proceedings
  • Responding to divorce proceedings
  • Making a financial settlement
  • Making arrangements for children

We can also advise you on some of the particular issues that can affect same-sex couples getting divorced. This includes the slightly different rules for using infidelity as the reason for your divorce, as well as issues around parental responsibility.

Civil partnership dissolution

While dissolving your civil partnership is similar to getting divorced in many ways, there are slightly different rules around the reasons you can give for legally ending your relationship which need to be considered. As with same-sex divorce, there can also be issues around parental responsibility, depending on your circumstances.

Our family lawyers can assist you with every stage of civil partnership dissolution, including:

  • Applying for a dissolution order to end your civil partnership
  • Responding to proceedings begun by your partner
  • Reaching a financial settlement
  • Making arrangements for children

We can also advise on applying to a court for a separation order if your civil partnership has lasted less than a year.

Parental rights for same-sex couples

If you and your partner or former partner have children together, it is essential to make sure you have ‘parental responsibility’ for your children. Parental Responsibility provides those with care of a child the legal right to be involved in their life and to be part of decisions regarding education, health, religion and where they should live.

For many same-sex couples, it is not necessarily true that you will automatically have parental responsibility for your child. A child’s birth mother will always have parental responsibility, unless this has been given up through adoption, a Parental Order or other legal means. Other parents may or may not have parental responsibility, depending on the circumstances.

Our family law team can advise you on whether you currently have parental responsibility and, if you do not, what steps you can take to secure it. In most cases, it is possible to acquire parental responsibility by entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with anyone who currently holds parental responsibility for a child.

Where your child’s other parent is not willing to grant parental responsibility, we can help you to apply to a family court for a Parental Responsibility Order, so you can get the legal right to have a say in your child’s upbringing.

Pre-nuptial agreements & pre-civil partnership agreements

If you are getting married or entering a civil partnership, it is a good idea to think about what would happen if your relationship doesn’t work out.

While many people might worry that this is ‘unromantic’ or unduly pessimistic, failing to consider this could risk harming your financial interests or leaving you unable to maintain your current standard of living in future.

We can advise you on creating a pre-nuptial agreement or pre-civil partnership agreement (sometimes also called a ‘pre-registration agreement’) that gives you long-term protection and peace of mind. Our team can also review any agreement you have been asked to sign by your partner to make sure it is fair to you.

If you are already married or in a civil partnership, it is still possible to get the same type of protection with a post-nuptial agreement or post-registration agreement. This can be created at any time during your marriage of civil partnership and can also be used to replace an existing agreement where you need to account for a change in your circumstances.

Our fees

We provide clear cost estimates at the outset and regularly throughout your case, so you have complete transparency over the costs involved at all times. With various fee structures available, we make it easy to fund our legal services in a way that matches your priorities.

Initial fixed fee consultation

We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fixed fee. This gives you the opportunity to explain your situation and what you need to achieve. Our family lawyers can then guide you through the various options and the likely costs involved.

Fixed fee family law services

Some aspects of family law matters can be dealt with on a fixed fee basis. We will agree a set price for completing a specific piece of work (e.g. preparing and submitting a divorce petition) so you know exactly how much it will cost to deal with your matter. 

Individual charge out rates for family law advice

We will often work to a pre-agreed hourly rate, especially where there are more complex matters to deal with. You will be charged for the exact amount of time we spend working on your case.

To find out more about our family law fees, please take a look at our pricing policy.

Speak to our lawyers in West London, Buckinghamshire & the Thames Valley

For sensitive, expert family law advice for same-sex couples, please contact your local IBB Law office in Beaconsfield, Reading or Uxbridge, or email

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