In 2003 Tasmanian relationship law underwent major changes with the passage of the Relationships Act 2003 which commenced on 1 January 2004.
Rights, entitlements and responsibilities formerly reserved for opposite-sex married and de facto couples were extended to a wider variety of personal relationships. A system for registering Deeds of Relationship was established to allow partners in personal relationships to easily access, prove and guarantee their entitlements and affirm their relationships.
The Relationships Act extended relationship entitlements to all same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex relationships. They are called significant relationships.
The Relationships Act extended certain of these entitlements to all companionate, familial and carer relationships. They are called caring relationships.
Significant and caring relationships are presumed to exist, and have equal entitlements, if they meet certain criteria, much like de facto relationships.
Partners can also have their relationships formally recognised through the registration of a Deed of Relationship with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.