When, Why & How should De Facto Relationships be Registered
Registering a De Facto Relationship with Centrelink
Centrelink has its own registration system which provides that, if people in a de facto relationship (including same sex couples) receive any Centrelink benefits, their relationship can and should be registered with them.
Quite apart from Centrelink, some Australian States and Territories also have a separate State Government registration system.
States & Territories where you can Register a De Facto Relationship
De facto couples (including same sex couples) can have their relationship registered in:
- New South Wales;
- Norfolk Island;
- Australian Capital Territory.
States & Territorys with no De Facto Relationship Registration System
There is no registration system in:
- Western Australia;
- Northern Territory;
- South Australia (although same sex couples can register their relationship through a “Domestic Partnership Agreement” document).
Federal De Facto Relationship Register
In December 2007, the then Prime Minister said the Australian Federal Government would work on a national relationship register, similar to the one in Tasmania, which would officially record an existing de facto (including same sex) relationship.
A national register has not yet been established.
Until the Federal Government establishes a De Facto relationship register which would apply throughout Australia, couples are at the mercy of the particular State or Territory in which they live, as to what that State or Territory Government has established.
How to Register your De Facto Relationship
You contact Centrelink directly to register your relationship with them.
Separate to whether or not you need to register your relationship with Centrelink, each Australian State & Terrritory which does provide some system, have different requirements.
Registering a De Facto Relationship in Queensland
Queensland de facto couples can formalise their relationship as a Civil Partnership under section 5 of Civil Partnerships Act 2011.
One partner must have lived in Queensland for at least 6 months and evidence of this must also be provided.
The application can be sent by post. Processing time to register relationships is approximately 10 days on average.
The cost of the registration certificate at time of publication of this information sheet was $43.50.
Registering a De Facto Relationship in New South Wales & Norfolk Island
Couples from either NSW or Norfolk Island can apply to have their De Facto Relationship recognised as a Registered Relationship under section 4 of the Relationships Register Act 2010.
NSW residents can register through the Registry of Death Birth and Marriages.
At least one partner must live in New South Wales.
It usually takes about 28 days to receive the certificate after you have applied to register your relationship.
Registering a De Facto Relationship in Victoria
For couples living in Victoria, you can formalise your De Facto Relationship by applying to have it recognised as a Registered Relationship under section 10(3)(a) of Relationships Act 2008.
In Victoria, de facto relationships are registered through Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria.
At least one of the de facto partners needs to have been resident in Victoria for the previous 3 months.
It will take a minimum of at least 28 days for the registration process to be finalised.
Registering a De Facto Relationship in Tasmania
Tasmanian de facto couples can register their relationship as a Significant Relationship under section 4 of Relationships Act 2003.
The application to register the de facto relationship can be made either by post, or it can be made in person with the Tasmania Department of Justice.
It usually takes approximately 28 days to receive the registration certificate.
Both partners must be residents of Tasmania.
Application fees at the time of publication of this information sheet are $179.08.
Registering a De Facto Relationship in the Australian Capital Territory
De Facto Couples from the ACT can have their relationship recognised as a Civil Partnership under section 6 of Civil Partnerships Act 2008.
Registration of the Civil partnership can be obtained through Access Canberra.
At least one of the partners must live in the ACT and two (2) separate forms of evidence of residency must also be provided with the application.
The application can be made in person or you can post your application and the required supporting documents.
If however you apply by post, at least one applicant will still need to attend at a post office to present identification.
There are no fees for civil partnership registration in the ACT.
De Facto Relationships – More Information
Do you know the checklist of things a court looks at to decide whether you are in a de facto relationship, the time limits applicable to your de facto relationship, how to protect your assets, the threshold requirements for de facto couples to be apply to apply for property settlement and other important legal information.
You can read more in the following sections of our website:
- De Facto Relationships
- Same Sex Relationships
- Binding Financial Agreements
- Parenting & Child Issues
- Child Support
- Court Process & Representing Yourself
- Consent Orders
- Mediation & Dispute Resolution
- Family & Domestic Violence
- Property Settlement
- Spousal Maintenance
- Read Actual Cases
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Pages in the De Facto Relationships Section
- How do you know if you are technically in a De Facto Relationship
- Use this Checklist to see if you are in a De Facto Relationship
- What are the Time Limits for De Faco Relationships
- How do I Register a De Facto Relationship & do I need to
- Should I enter into a Binding Financial Agreement to protect myself
- What type of Binding Financial Agreement do I need
- The law for Qld De Facto C ouples who separated before 21 March 2009
- How to Protect your Assets