The New Marriage Equality Law - What You Need to Know

By Treasa Howell
Friday, 4th December 2015
Filed under: News

Marriage equality has just been signed into law and the first same sex civil marriage ceremonies are underway. What does the new law mean for LGBT couples and their families? Can a civil partnership automatically be turned into a marriage? How does the law affect partnerships from abroad? How do you apply to marry? Howell & Co. Solicitors, experts in family and civil law, answer a few of the questions people are asking.

Will a Civil Partnership be automatically recognised as a Marriage?

In a word, No. Civil partnerships will still remain and will not be affected. If you chose to remain in a civil partnership without getting married, this is fine.  If you entered into a civil partnership, but now wish to be recognised as a married couple, you can apply to get married. Once you are married, your civil partnership will be dissolved. 

How Do I Change My Partnership to a Marriage?

All you need to do is contact your nearest Civil Registry Office. You can look up the office closest to you here. You must give at least 5 days' notice of your intention to marry. You can then arrange for your wedding through the Registrar or other solemniser.

How Much Does it Cost to Marry?

It depends on whether you are already in a civil partnership or not. If you are, you can apply to marry and pay a €50 fee. If you have not entered into a civil partnership up to now, but want to get married, you pay the standard marriage fee of €200.

We got Married Abroad. Where do We Stand?

If you had a same sex marriage in another country, you don't have to do anything. Your marriage is now automatically recognised in Ireland.

What about a Civil Partnership from Abroad?

If you have a civil partnership recognised in another country, you can now get married in Ireland if you wish. Remember that in this case, you will need to give 3 months notice of your intention to marry. The 5 day notice only applies to couples who had their civil partnership in Ireland.

I've a Civil Ceremony booked. Can I change it to a Marriage Ceremony?

Yes! If you want to change the ceremony into a marriage, that is not a problem. Make sure that you have any additional paperwork needed. Howell & Co. can guide you through any of the documentation needed or you can contact the Registrar in advance for information. Your notice of intention to enter civil partnership will automatically change to one of marriage.

Children, Wills and Property

Entering into a civil partnership or a marriage is a really exciting time. It's also good to remember that there are still different legal approaches to partnership and marriage and you may want to look into them before you decide what route you wish to take. If you have children or are considering advice on wills or property, it might be a good idea to talk to us about the varying legal aspects to all of these things.  At Howell & Co. we have approachable experts in family and civil law, who can guide you to making the best decision for you, whether it relates to civil partnership or marriage. You can contact us at any time to discuss your needs or to answer any of your questions.