Gay and lesbian couples have the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples and therefore require formal legal proceedings when their relationship breaks down.
The requirement is for one of the parties involved to file a petition with the Court requesting the civil partnership dissolution; this process is very similar to the divorce process.
To qualify for the dissolution the parties must have been in a civil partnership for more than one year. One of the parties must start the process off and they will be known as the Petitioner; (the person proving that the civil partnership has broken down irretrievably). The process follows the same course as a divorce and typically takes 3-6 months to complete