civil partnership a relationship between two people of the same sex, civil partners. In England and Wales such is formed when the parties register as civil partners of each other. A civil partnership ends only on death, dissolution or annulment. Two people are not eligible to register as civil partners of each other if they are not of the same sex, either of them is already a civil partner or lawfully married, either of them is under 16, or they are within prohibited degrees of relationship. Parental consent is required where a party is under 18. Created by legislation in 2004, a similar institution exists in Scotland.