On the day where many will be celebrating the opportunity to convert their civil partnerships into marriage, Hertfordshire lags London in its readiness, with only one register office being prepared.

New legislation takes effect today, 10 December, which allows couples who are currently in a civil partnership to make a simple conversion to marriages. This change has been much anticipated by many same sex couples since the Civil Partnership Act came into force in 2004.

While Westminster and other London boroughs are not only ready with the legalities, but planning multiple ceremonies and celebrations, it seems that Hertfordshire and the home counties are lagging.

Specialist family law firm Rayden Solicitors of St Albans recently carried out research with register offices across the county and have today confirmed that only one register office is ready to deal with the conversion and couples will have to go to the Hertfordshire Register Office in Hatfield.  

Partner Julian Bremner said:  “This is a great day for those in Civil Partnership who now wish to convert to marriage.  It is sad that, at a time that St Albans generally leads the way, has fallen behind and that this service is only readily available in Hatfield.

Couples will be able to make a simple administrative conversion, free of charge, or arrange a new ceremony, for which a small administrative charge will be made.