Civil Unions

Civil Union – Partners in Life”, it has a nice sound to it!

From my experience as a Civil Union Celebrant the ceremonies that I have officiated, have been the most moving and extremely heartfelt occasions that I have the privilege to officiate for. The following information may be of assistance.

A civil union ceremony speaks words of commitment and is a celebration of love. A civil union is the formalisation of a relationship between two people in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Union Act 2004. People in a civil union will be treated the same way as married couples in a Will. Same-sex and de facto couples will gain next-of-kin status.

  1. The Civil Union Act 2004 does not prescribe any set form for the ceremony, but the following elements are essential: Your civil union must be solemnised at one of the places stated on the licence and before the licence expires (within 3 months of issuing), and must be solemnised in the presence of either a Civil Union Celebrant or a Registrar of Civil Unions.
  2. The ceremony must be performed in the presence of at least two witnesses. Each party must make a clear statement to the other that names both parties and acknowledges that they are freely joining in a civil union with each other. The couple, the celebrant and the witnesses must all sign both copies of the Coy of Particulars of Civil Union.
  3. You can retain your current surname, take you partner’s surname, or you may adopt a combination of your surnames. You can use the Copy of Particulars as evidence of the fact that you have adopted the new surname.
  4. You must ensure you are legally permitted to enter into a civil union and you must choose an approved Civil Union Celebrant

A Civil Union ceremony is treated very much like a marriage, therefore most questions I have been asked are those similar to questions about  "Weddings".

The only difference with documentation is that you will be required to complete a ‘Notice of Intended Civil Union’ form, which includes a statutory declaration that both parties are free to be joined in civil union and that all the details supplied on the form are correct.

A civil union may be entered into by same-sex couples or by couples of different sexes.

For all legal requirements go to Births Deaths & Marriages website www.bdm.govt.nz (Civil Unions)

"Now join your hands and with your hands your hearts" by William Shakespeare

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