- Celebrate your relationship
Although a wedding ceremony is not legal in Australia for same-sex couples, you can celebrate your love for one another with your family and friends by conducting a ceremony that meets your personal and unique circumstances. It can be a small and intimate affair, a lavish extravaganza, or anything in between!
You might like to have a look at how Sandy and Lou celebrated their relationship recently. ABC program Four Corners ‘For Better or Worse’ televised on 10 October featured their amazing ceremony conducted in 2015 before their children, family and friends. You can see it at: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2016/…/06/4551829.htm
- Update your will
A will is a legal document to ensure your money and estate is inherited by the people you want to benefit and, of equal importance, doesn’t go to people who you don’t want to benefit.
The actual process of writing a Will is relatively straightforward and inexpensive.
Speak to your Solicitor who will provide you with the correct advice on drawing up a will to ensure your partner is protected.
- Appoint your partner as your attorney
You can appoint your partner to make financial decisions on your behalf for a specific period or event, such as if you’re going overseas and you need your partner to sell your house or pay your bills. It’s used while you can still make your own decisions and ends once you no longer can (i.e. you lose capacity).
You can also appoint your partner to make financial and personal decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make your own decisions, e.g. if you have failing cognitive health or lose capacity to make decisions.
Speak to your Solicitor who will provide you with the correct advice on both general and enduring powers of attorney.
- Change your name
You can apply to your state’s Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages to change your name. You can legally change your first name, middle name or surname, or any combination of those.
You will need to fill out an application form to register your change of name, and possibly another application form so that the Registry will send you a Change of Name Certificate (some states automatically send out this certificate, but not all). There are fees associated with the application form which can be found out about at your state’s Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
- Register your relationship in NSW
Adults who are in a relationship as a couple, regardless of sex, can apply for registration of their relationship, provided at least one of them lives in NSW.
Couples in registered relationships will be recognised as ‘de facto partners’ for the purposes of most legislation in NSW, and will also be subject to certain obligations or restrictions under NSW law.
This means people in registered relationships will be able to rely on their certificate of registration to access various entitlements, services and records under NSW law. Registered couples may be able to access more easily, key benefits and rights under NSW legislation. In situations that are not governed by legislation, service providers may choose to accept registration of a relationship as proof of the legitimacy of that relationship.