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2.2.5.13 Registered Relationships

Summary

A person is considered to be in a registered relationship with another person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) if the relationship is registered under a prescribed law of a state or territory in Australia prescribed for the purposes of section 22B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

 

For section 22B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, the following laws and kinds of relationships are prescribed:

(a) Relationships Act 2008 (Victoria) - a registered relationship that is registered under paragraph 10(3)(a) of that Act,

(b) Relationships Act 2003 (Tasmania) - a significant relationship as defined in section 4 of that Act,

(c) Civil Partnership Act 2008 (Australian Capital Territory) - a relationship as a couple between 2 adults who meet the eligibility criteria mentioned in section 6 of that Act for entry into a civil partnership,

(d) Relationships Register Act 2010 (New South Wales) - section 5(1) two adults who are in a relationship as a couple, regardless of their sex, may apply to the Registrar for registration of their relationship.

(e) Civil Partnerships Act 2011 (Queensland) - a civil partnership is a legally recognised relationship that, subject to this Act, may be entered into by any 2 adults, regardless of their sex.

 

The Acts Interpretation (Registered Relationships) Regulations 2008 refers.

 

This means registered relationships are only recognised for social security purposes if they are registered under the above Australian state and territory laws.

 

Registered relationships may also be known in particular state and territories as civil unions, civil partnerships and significant relationships.

 

Exclusion

The provisions of Australian state and territory laws that provide for registration of 'caring' or 'interdependent' relationships will not be recognised as kinds of relationships that will be taken to be a registered relationship.

 

Definition of a member of a couple

A person is a member of a couple under the SSAct if they are living with another person as their partner, where both people are over the age of consent (applicable to the relevant state or territory), are living together on a permanent or indefinite basis, are not in a prohibited relationship (subsections 4(12) and 4(13)), and are either:

  • legally married (2.2.5.14), or
  • in a registered relationship (whether of the same sex or a different sex), or
  • in a de facto relationship (whether of the same sex or a different sex) (2.2.5.10).

 

Act reference: SSAct section 4(12) to 4(13) Prohibited relationship

 

Overseas registered relationships

Registered relationships that are issued in other countries are not recognised for Australian social security purposes as they are not registered under a law of a state or territory in Australia prescribed for the purposes of section 22B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

 

However, if overseas registrations are produced as evidence, they will be viewed as a strong indicator that the people registered (whether of the same sex or a different sex) are in a de facto relationship.

 

Local government registered relationships

Registered relationships in Australia that are not registered under a law of a state or territory in Australia prescribed for the purposes of section 22B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (e.g. City of Sydney registry), are not recognised for social security purposes.

 

However, if local government registrations are produced as evidence, they will be viewed as a strong indicator that the people registered (whether of the same sex or a different sex) are in a de facto relationship.

 

Revoking a registered relationship

People who have a relationship registered under either the Relationships Act 2008 (Victoria), Relationships Act 2003 (Tasmania), Civil Partnership Act 2008 (Australian Capital Territory), or the Relationship Register Act 2010 (New South Wales) are able to lodge an application to revoke the relationship.

 

However, if a person has not revoked their registered relationship this does not, of itself, indicate that the relationship is ongoing and has not ceased.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 4(2) Member of a couple-general, section 4(3) Member of a couple-criteria for forming opinion about relationship, section 4(3A) The Secretary must not form the opinion…

Policy reference: SS Guide 2.2.5.10 Determining a De Facto Relationship

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Last reviewed: 30 April 2012


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Last Edited: 26/06/2012 11:10:39 AM


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