When it comes to Family Law matters we deal with the breakdown of two types of relationships , marriages and de facto relationships.
A marriage is usually pretty straight forward to prove, and we’ve written previously on our blog about proving a de facto relationship exists.
A domestic relationship in Victoria is defined under the Relationships Act 2008 as
“a relationship between two people who are not married and live together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis irrespective of gender“.
Not all States in Australia have implemented the concept of relationship registration (other than marriage), but in Victoria you can register a domestic relationship under the Relationships Act 2008.
The requirements to register a relationship are fairly straightforward. Both partners need to take part in the registration process – for obvious reasons.
First, you both need to be over 18.
You will both also need to prove your identity using a standard identity check. If you have them, the simplest way to do this is with your driver licence and passport (you can send certified copies in with your paperwork if you’re not doing it in person)
At least one of you will need to live in Victoria, and provide evidence of that.
In terms of your actual relationship, you need to provide genuine domestic support to each other, and be in a committed relationship together.
Yes. Relationship registration is open to both heterosexual and same sex couples.
Other than simply not meeting the requirements above, you can’t register a relationship if you’re in an existing marriage or registered relationship with a person who is not your current partner.
If you’ve been married or in a previously registered relationship you’re going to need to convince the State that relationship has come to an end. You might do that with a certificate or divorce or a certificate of revocation of your previous registered relationship, for example.
To actually register your relationship, you’ll need to:
There’s a 28 day cooling-off period (in case you realise you made a mistake), after which if your information and documentation is all present and correct it will be processed, and your relationship will be registered.
How will your relationship be viewed legally? The fact that you and your partner have registered your domestic relationship in Victoria doesn’t mean that you will be automatically found to have a de facto relationship under the Family Law Act.
But, registering your domestic relationship IS one of the factors that will be taken into account, and will weigh in favour of a Court finding that a true de facto relationship actually existed under the Family Law Act.
Important Note: this topic is regularly confused. While registering your relationship won’t create an automatic finding of a de facto relationship, it will mean that (once a de facto relationship is established) the Court can make orders under the Family Law Act about property and maintenance. It’s a bit technical so we suggest you get in touch if it’s a concern for you.
There are a variety of personal and practical reasons why you might want to register your domestic or de facto relationship:
Registering is a fairly simple way that you and your partner can formalise your relationship together. It can help you get through some legal hurdles along the way, and be a sign to others of your commitment together.
For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact
03 9419 6066.