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I love you, will you register me?

It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “will you marry me?” does it?  However amendments to Queensland legislation have recently seen the Civil Partnership Act now changed to the Relationship Act 2011.

The Relationship Act 2011 removes any state sanctioned ceremonies when entering registered relationships and yet again waters down law recognising same-sex couples.  The Government has made these changes, in their words, to ‘distinguish and preserve the institution of marriage as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman under (the Federal) Marriage Act’.

What does a registered relationship mean for you?

You may wish to register your relationship as a sign of commitment.  It doesn’t prohibit a couple from holding a private ceremony, but a ceremony is not required.

Why bother with a registered relationship?

Well there could be a range of reasons.  Not only about commitment, but also to prove your eligibility for superannuation, tax, government benefits, property matters (under the Family Law Act), spousal maintenance, or even family provision claims under the Succession Act should your partner die unexpectedly and not make provision for you in their Will or die intestate.

In order to register a relationship you must:

  • be over the age of 18 years;
  • not be married or already in a registered relationship;
  • not be in a prohibited relationship; and
  • have at least one person in the relationship living in Queensland.

You are required to provide evidence that you are no longer married (such as divorce or death certificate), if you have ever been married previously.

You will need to provide documents that show one of the partners wishing to register their relationship has lived in Queensland for at least six months, and these documents along with identification documents must be certified by a Justice of the Peace or another authorised person.

Your application and certified documents can then be posted to the office of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Lee-Anne McCormick