What is the difference between a marriage and a civil partnership in Gibraltar?


People get married for a variety of different reasons, some people believe in the tradition of marriage and some people don't.  Some couples may live in a country where they aren't allowed to marry the person that they love, others may love someone that they want to share their lives with, however don't feel that marriage is the way.

In Gibraltar you can get married, form a civil partnership or convert a civil partnership into a marriage.

It can get confusing to know whether you want to be married or have a civil partnership, what is the difference?  In this article we explain what the difference is, what option is open to who and where you can go!

The difference between marriage and civil partnership isn’t just about whether you make your commitment known in a church or a registry office. 

Before same sex marriage came legal in the UK it was often that same sex couples entered into a civil partnership and mixed sex couples entered into marriage, however same sex marriages became legal in 2014 and then in 2018 it became legal for mixed sex couples to enter civil partnerships in the UK, the first date of couples being able to register their intent of doing so being 2nd December 2019.


So what are the differences?

Civil partnership

This is a legal agreement between two people, where they are 'registering' their relationship as a legal partnership.  The couple receive the same benefits as married people in terms of tax, benefits and inheritance. 

The civil partnership 'ceremony' is conducted by a registrar, however it contains only the signing of the agreement document by both parties.

When it comes to dissolving the partnership then this can be done the same a a marriage, however adultery can not be listed as a valid reason.  It is processed through the courts and can be granted if the couple have been living apart for 5 consecutive years.



This is a ceremony where spoken word is exchanged 'the vows' and the legalities are spoken.  There is occasionally a religious side to the ceremony, however this is not possible in a town hall wedding.  It is where 2 people are joined in legal union.  The only way to end this is through a divorce and adultery can be used a a valid reason.


Which ever 'union' you feel more comfortable with then please CONTACT us and we can help you finding the right choice for you as a couple.


So what documents do you need for either of these ceremonies in Gibraltar?


Foreign language documents that are not multi-language certificates must be accompanied by an officially certified translation into the English language.

  • Valid passports or EU ID card
  • Full birth certificate
  • Valid visas to show that you are legally allowed into Gibraltar for the ceremony
  • If you have been married before, the original full and final divorce/annullment/death certificate, legalised in accordance to the Hague Agreement.
  • If you have changed your name then proof of this and its legality.
  • If you are not living in your home country then a valid residence permit.
  • In addition to the above, the Registrar may, at his sole discretion, ask for any other documents considered necessary.


www.marryabroadsimply.com can help in any way to answer any questions that you have, contact us through our website and we will get back to you.  

Have a look at our awesome YouTube channel for short information Vlogs on how easy it is to elope and get married abroad!

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