1.21.3 De facto partners | Military Compensation SRCA Manuals and Resources Library, Death Handbook, Ch 1 Legislation and Definitions, 1.21 What is a 'Spouse' for the SRCA?

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1.21.3 De facto partners

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A 'de facto partner', is defined in the SRCA as:

de facto partner of a person has the meaning given by the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Section 22A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (AIA) defines the term as follows:

...a person is the de facto partner of another person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) if:

  • the person is in a registered relationship with another person under section 22B; or
  • the person is in a de facto relationship with the other person under section 22C.
Registered Relationships

Section 22B of the AIA stipulates that a person is in a registered relationship with an employee if they are in a relationship with the employee which is registered under a law of a State or Territory prescribed under the AIA as a prescribed kind of relationship.  Currently there are only three such laws and kinds of relationship.  These are:

Victorian Relationships Act 2008

A relationship that is registered under the Victorian Relationships Act 2008.

Tasmanian Relationships Act 2003

  1. A relationship that is registered as a significant relationship as defined in section 4 of the Tasmanian Relationships Act 2003.
ACT Civil Partnerships Act 2008

A relationship that is registered as a civil partnership f under the ACT Civil Partnerships Act 2008.

Note that relationships registered in other countries or under other Australian registration schemes such as the City of Sydney registry cannot be recognised as conclusive evidence of a de facto partnership for the purpose of the SRCA.  However, evidence of a relationship registered overseas or via another Australian scheme would be a strong indication that the people registered (whether of the same sex or a different sex) are in a de facto relationship.

De Facto Relationships

Section 22C of the AIA provides that a person is in a de facto relationship with another person if:

  • they were not legally married to the employee; and
  • they were not related to the employee by family; and
  • the two persons had a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.
A person in more than one relationship

Under the AIA definition of 'de facto relationship' a person can be in a de facto relationship with another person, even if that person is concurrently:

  • married to a third person; or
  • in a registered relationship with a third person; or
  • in a de facto relationship with a third person.