Since March 2016, when the Civil Partnerships Act 2011 (the Act) commenced, couples (including same sex couples) who meet certain eligibility requirements are able to register a civil partnership.

The definition of a ‘civil partnership’ under the Act is ‘a legally recognised relationship that, subject to this Act, may be entered into by any 2 adults, regardless of their sex.’

The parties need to be at least 18 years of age, and at least one of them needs to reside in Queensland.  In addition, neither party must be married or already in a registered relationship, and the relationship must not be prohibited (i.e. between lineal ancestors/descendants, sibling relationships etc).

A registered civil partnership notary must preside over a declaration ceremony, and the ceremony can be held at the Brisbane registry, any Magistrates Court in Queensland which provides this service, or at a location of the couple’s choice in the presence of the registered civil partnership notary.

Alternatively, the parties do not need to have a declaration ceremony and can simply make an application in accordance with the relevant requirements, and lodge the application at the Brisbane registry or any Magistrates Court of Queensland registry.  A certificate confirming the registration can be ordered at the same time for an additional fee.

If the parties choose to have a declaration ceremony, then they must complete and lodge a ‘Notice of intention to enter into a civil partnership application form’ at least 10 days before the declaration ceremony to both their registered civil partnership notary and the Brisbane registry (if the ceremony is not occurring in the registry).   Alternatively, the parties can simply complete the ‘register a civil partnership application form and submit that (together with identification and eligibility documents as required) and submit the application directly with the Brisbane registry.  The civil partnership will still be subject to a 10 day cooling off period and will not be registered earlier than 10 days from receipt of the application.

For further information on registering a civil partnership feel free to browse the following website:

For your convenience, our experienced family law team at Affinity Lawyers on the Gold Coast can assist with preparing a civil partnership application on your behalf, or providing you with legal advice in respect of entering into a civil partnership.  Please telephone our Gold Coast team on 07 5563 8970 today to arrange an initial consultation.