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Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014

Section 11: Effect of marriage between civil partners in a qualifying civil partnership

56.This section makes provision on the effect of civil partners changing their relationship to a marriage.

57.Subsection (1) ensures that this provision applies to civil partners who change their relationship (registered in Scotland) to a marriage, regardless of whether they make this change through having a marriage ceremony (section 8 of the Act) or through the administrative route (section 10 of the Act).

58.Subsection (2)(a) provides that the qualifying civil partnership ends when the marriage is solemnised or the change took effect and subsection (2)(b) provides that the civil partners are to be treated as having been married to each other since the date on which the qualifying civil partnership was registered.

59.Subsection (2)(a) ensures that the couple do not have two civil statuses (married and in a civil partnership) at the same time. Subsection (2)(b) ensures that their time in the civil partnership is treated as if they had been married. For example, this means that provisions in the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985, which covers matters such as financial provision during marriage and on divorce, applies to property acquired during and for the civil partnership as well as to property acquired during and for the marriage.

60.Subsection (3) defines what is meant by “registered” for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) in relation to civil partnerships originally registered at British consulates overseas or by British armed forces personnel. Civil partnerships at consulates are treated as registered when they are entered in the Register Book. Civil partnerships through the armed forces are treated as registered when the register is signed.

61.Subsection (4) makes provision so that subsection (2)(b) is subject to any contrary provision made in legislation and any order made under subsection (5). For example, provision may be needed in relation to civil partnerships which turn out to be void but are changed into marriage before it is realised that they are void so the marriage is not backdated to when the civil partnership first started. In addition, there may be a need to recognise any court decrees from outwith Scotland which relate specifically to civil partnerships. The scope of any order and its Parliamentary procedure are set out in subsection (6).

62.Subsection (7) provides that any decree of aliment requiring one civil partner to make payments to the other which is in force when a civil partnership ends because it has been changed into a marriage continues to have effect. This ensures that any reference in the decree to the civil partnership does not stop the decree from continuing to have effect.

63.Subsection (8) provides that orders under section 103(3) or (4) of the 2004 Act, which relate to the regulation by the court of rights of occupancy of the family home, which were in force during the civil partnership continue to have effect once the couple are married.

64.Subsection (9) makes consequential amendments to section 1 of the 2004 Act, which contains provision on the circumstances in which a civil partnership ends.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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