The Relationships Register Act 2016 (SA), which came into operation on 1 August 2017, makes it possible for a couple (irrespective of their sex or gender identity) to register their relationship with the office of Births Deaths and Marriages in South Australia. The eligibility requirements and procedures are similar to those for a marriage and the effect of registration is marriage-like, please see Registered relationships for more information.
Same and intersex relationships are now recognised under both Commonwealth and South Australian laws. Therefore, in this section, heterosexual, same and intersex relationships are all referred to as "unregistered de facto relationships".
An unregistered de facto relationship of any length will be recognised in some areas of law; that is, there is no time requirement for recognition of the relationship. In these cases, the de facto relationship is treated as a marriage. Areas of law covered here:
In other areas of law, a de facto relationship must either be registered or have existed for a certain period of time before it is recognised. Depending on the area of law, an unregistered de facto relationship must have existed for a one year, two year or three year period.
One year for recognition: migration law.
Two years for recognition: property disputes (Family Law Act).
Three years for recognition: State law matters, including
NOTE: if there is a child of the relationship, the relevant time period may not be required and a relationship of any length will be recognised.