Your rights as a couple

Couples who are married, in a civil partnership or living together (in a de facto relationship) have certain rights.

To find the practical and legal issues you need to know around getting married, registering your relationship as a civil partnership and living together, talk to a family lawyer.


We register all legal weddings that take place in Queensland through the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM).

Find out about:

You can also refer to the Happily Ever Before and After (PDF, 163KB) pamphlet you are given by your registered celebrant before your wedding.

Overseas marriage

The Marriage Act 1961 details whether a marriage solemnised and registered outside Australia is valid under Australian law.

While a marriage that takes place overseas can’t be registered in Australia, it will usually be recognised if:

  • it’s recognised under the law of the country where the marriage took place
  • it would have been recognised as a valid marriage under Australian law if you had been married here, so
    • both parties were at least 18
    • neither party was married to another person at the time of marriage
    • the relationship isn’t with a parent, descendent, sibling or half sibling.

If you get married overseas, you need to:

  • make sure your marriage is legally registered in that country
  • have the legal marriage document issued by the registering authority in that country.

Civil partnership

We also register relationships that are recorded as civil partnerships in Queensland through RBDM.

Find out about:

You can also refer to the legal effects of entering a civil partnership.

De facto relationships

To find out what you need to know about living together as a couple, without marrying or entering civil partnership (i.e. in a de facto relationship):