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Civil partnership dissolutions granted in the UK have almost doubled since 2008 - from 180 to 351, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The number of couples entering a civil partnership has dropped 12 per cent - from 7,169 in 2008 to 6,281 in 2009.
There was an eightfold increase in the dissolutions of civil partnerships between 2007 and 2009. The increase reflects the fact that the Civil Partnership Act only came into force in December 2005 and a couple must have been in civil partnership for 12 months before they can obtain a dissolution. However, where these two trends to continue, in 2013 there would be more couples ending a civil partnership than forming one.
The number of civil partnership formations decreased in all countries of the UK between 2008 and 2009 except Northern Ireland where the number of civil partnerships increased by 12 per cent to 96. There was a decrease of 13 per cent in both England and Wales and of 5 per cent in Scotland.
In 2009, 51 per cent of civil partnerships formed in the UK were male compared with 53 per cent in 2008. The average age for having a civil partnership was 41 for men and 38 for women.
As in 2008, London was the region within the UK with the highest number of registered civil partnerships in 2009, with a quarter of all partnerships having taken place there (1,134 male and 411 female).
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure