When it comes to relationships and families, there are usually a range of formalities involved. One of the most significant of these is registering a relationship. Sometimes couples do this for sentimental or commitment reasons, while others have legal motivations. Regardless of why you want to register your relationship, there is usually a way to do it in Queensland – even for same sex couples.

As long as you satisfy the criteria, there are a range of avenues to get registered. Registering a relationship is not the same thing as marriage though, and couples should remember this before proceeding.

Is My Relationship Eligible

You register your relationship in Queensland – regardless of your sex – as long as you and your partner are:

  • 18 years old or over
  • Unmarried and not in another registered relationship
  • Able to provide evidence that you are no longer married, if you have been
  • Living in Queensland (at least one person in the relationship)
  • Not in a prohibited relationship – relationships between 2 people who are lineal ancestors, descendants, siblings, or half siblings
  • Aware of your responsibilities, as outlines in the Relationships Act (2011) 

The Application Process

In order to confirm your eligibility to register, you must provide several formal documents. 

If one or both partners has previously been marred, they will need to provide a divorce or death certificate. 

To confirm that you or your partner live in Queensland (minimum 6 months) you will need several documents, such as: 

  • Utility bills
  • Bank statements
  • Rent or lease agreements
  • An official letter from your employer, doctor, educational institution or the AEC (Australian Electoral Commission) 

When submitting your application by post, this evidence also needs to be certified by a Justice of the Peace or other authorised person. 

After you have provided any relevant information you can register your relationship by: 

  • Completing a Register a Relationship Application form
  • Attach proof of ID and evidence of residency, authorised by a Justice of the Peace or other relevant authority
  • Make your submission in post or person to:
    • Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages,
      PO Box 15188,
      City East Qld 4002 (by post) or;
    • The Brisbane Registry Counter – 110 George Street, Brisbane (in person) 

What Happens Next?

There is a 10 day registration period after which your relationship will be officially registered. If your application is rejected for any reason, you can review this decision at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

You will not receive any certificate automatically, though there is one available for $43.50. If you choose not to purchase a certificate, registering your relationship is completely free. 

I’m in a De Facto Relationship – Do I Need to Register?

De facto couples in Queensland are covered under the Family Law Act, just like with married couples. This means you are covered in similar or the same way – in relation to finances, children’s rights etc. – when your partner passes away, or you separate. All you need to do in these cases is prove your de facto status, based on a range of factors. 

You do not need to have registered your relationship or have a certificate, though taking these steps could streamline some processes. 

To learn more about the legal status of your relationship, or if you have questions about registered, separation or de facto relationships, contact the family law experts at Bartels Lawyers.

Bartels Lawyers