Legislation recognising the existence and legal rights of same sex relationships has been in place since 2004 in the UK, and in some areas, such family partnerships are known as ?double mummies and double daddies?.  Here in Jersey we are now catching up with the UK, with the adoption by the States of Jersey on 12 July 2011, of the Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law.

The law provides for the formation of a civil partnership in Jersey and for the registration and recognition of a civil partnership created ?overseas? subject to certain requirements being met.  The law will provide for a new legal relationship, which will as far as possible, extend most of the rights and benefits available to married couples, to those in same sex relationships.

Those wishing to enter into a civil partnership, will be required to meet certain criteria, much in keeping with those imposed on couples looking to enter into marriage.  The Superintendent Registrar will attend to the licensing and registration of civil partnerships, whilst the venue for the partnership ceremony has to be approved by the Constable of the relevant parish on a case by case basis.  A civil partnership comes to an end upon the death of one of the parties, annulment, or dissolution of the partnership, with the basis for dissolution including unreasonable behaviour and separation.  The Royal Court will be able to entertain applications for annulment, separation and dissolution of the partnership and the court will have the power to make financial and property orders, its first consideration being the welfare and upbringing of the children of the family.

The law awaits Royal Assent and as such it is unlikely to come into force until the end of the year at the earliest.