Deborah Leask

Partner, Solicitor & Joint Head of Family

DATE PUBLISHED: 18 Jan 2024 LAST UPDATED: 10 Jun 2024

Does being transgender affect family law proceedings?

What is the process of gender reassignment?

The first step is you will be referred to a gender dysphoria clinic by your GP where you will have 2-3 appointments before you a placed on a treatment plan (if appropriate). This may consist of either surgical or non-surgical treatments. If you want to change your gender formally, you need to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate. This has the effect of being legally recognised as the acquired gender in the UK. You don’t need a certificate to update your driving licence, passport, medical records, employment records or your bank account.

If you would like to know more about the process of gender reassignment, then please refer to the NHS website.

How do I get my Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC)?

You are required to live in your acquired gender for 2 years and have the intention live in that gender permanently.

You can apply to obtain a GRC here.

If you obtain a GRC then you can update your UK registered birth or adoption certificate, get married or form a civil partnership in your affirmed gender, update your UK registered marriage or civil partnership certificate and have your affirmed gender on your death certificate when you die.

How will this affect my divorce or ending my civil partnership?

During a divorce or civil partnership, the majority of couples go through a process known as financial proceedings. This is a process whereby one of our experienced solicitors will consider your finances and your partner’s finances through a process called financial disclosure and consider what is a fair division of the assets. If you would like to know more about financial proceedings then please read our blog, ‘can my spouse or civil partner make a financial claim after divorce

If you are or your ex-partner is going through gender reassignment there are some important considerations before you engage in financial disclosure. For example, your entitlement to some benefits and pensions may change based on your affirmed gender. In addition, your partner’s entitlement to your pension if you were to die may also change. Our experienced team of solicitors are alive to this. If this is not considered from the outset, then it may be that your financial settlement may not be as fair as you first thought.

Will a GRC affect my marriage or civil partnership?

If you are applying for a GRC and you are married or in a civil partnership, then your partner will need to sign a document to agree. If your partner refuses to sign the document, then this does not prevent you from getting a GRC, instead you will get an interim certificate. If you want to end your marriage or civil partnership, then this is the process you will need to take if your partner does not agree with you getting a GRC.

Once you are divorced or no longer in a civil partnership, then you can apply for a full GRC. This does not affect your status as a mother or father.

How can Ellis Jones help?

At Ellis Jones Solicitors we have a team of LGBT+ specialist solicitors who have a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the legal issues which affect the LGBT+ community. We are so proud of the work that we do in supporting the LGBT+ community across the firm and we are honoured to be one of the first law firms in the region to offer a range of LGBT+ legal services, and recognised in the Daily Echo for this.

If you are considering divorcing your partner, then please read our blog ‘Divorce in 2024? A few things to consider initially…

Should you need further advice, please call our Family team on 01202 636223 or email and we will be pleased to help with any query you may have. It may be worth reading our blog ‘what can I expect from my first telephone call for family law advice’ if you do feel nervous about making that initial telephone call.

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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