Lesbian couple plan first civil partnership divorce

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PinkNews.co.uk Exclusive

A lesbian couple who are planning a divorce just two months after having a civil partnership, face tough times ahead, a legal expert has warned.

Liz King, 40, and Daphne Ligthart, 36, registered their partnership in Kent last February, they then shared a romantic honeymoon in Amsterdam, but will now become the first female same sex couple to have a divorce since the legislation began in December 2005.

PinkLegal.co.uk barrister Alistair Kelman said: “The unhappy couple have a few problems, first, under the legislation, the process of terminating a civil partnership is called a ‘dissolution,’ It is not available to anyone who has been in a civil partnership for less than a year.

“Since the legislation only came into effect at the end of December 2005 nobody can yet dissolve their unfortunate civil partnership. Indeed the Court Form needed to Dissolve a Civil Partnership has yet to be produced by The Court Service – not surprisingly because the earliest that it could be filed by anyone would be late December 2006 – if they had got married when the legislation first made civil partnerships possible.

“So the unhappy couple cannot even file for a dissolution since the form to dissolve a Civil Partnership does not yet exist in the English legal system.

“On the sharing out of their property following a dissolution everyone is waiting on two House of Lords cases on marital settlements where judgement is due to be handed down before the end of July. If the couple did not enter into a pre-nup they are going to have to carefully consider how the law will divide up their property.

“Generally speaking the shorter the relationship the less claim one party has on the other. But there is all to fight for at this stage with no precedents in place.”

The break up came after Ms King told her partner she no longer loved her, she told the Sun, “Liz told me she didn’t love me anymore, that she hadn’t done so for years. I was absolutely flabbergasted.

“I asked her why she had gone through the wedding and she said it was to make me happy. But it was all her idea.”

“She even asked if I would change my name by deed poll because she liked the sound of it.

“We seemed more in love than ever.”

She said she noticed something was wrong after Ms Ligthart began spending a lot of time away from home and kept bringing anther woman back to the house, “Liz is into athletics and is a triathlete. She began spending a lot of time training with another girl at her athletics club.

“They were together every day and this girl began coming round the house when I was at work.”

Ms King said: “I have nothing to say except I feel sorry for Daphne at this time.”