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Caring Relationships

 You can register a caring relationship if:

  • the relationship is between two adults, whether or not related by family, one of whom provides the other with domestic support and personal care
  • you are not married
  • you are not in an existing significant or caring relationship
  • neither party is receiving payment for the care of the other either from employment or government departments
  • both parties live in Tasmania

Are there any circumstances which prohibit a relationship being classified as a 'caring relationship'?

The Relationships Act provides that a relationship cannot be taken to be a caring relationship in the following circumstances:

(a)  the domestic support and personal care is provided in return for 'fee or wages'; or
(b)  the relationship between the persons is an employment relationship; or
(c)  the support or care is provided on behalf of another person, organisation, Government or government agency, body corporate, or charity.

How do I prove that I am in a caring relationship?

This can be done in a number of ways:

  • A certificate issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is proof of the caring relationship.
  • If the caring relationship is not registered the Relationships Act provides a number of factors which can, where relevant, be used to prove the existence of a caring relationship:

    (a)  the duration of a relationship;
    (b)  the nature and extent of common residence;
    (c)  the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between the parties;
    (d)  the joint ownership, use and acquisition of property;
    (e)  the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
    (f)  the performance of household duties;
    (g)  the reputation and public aspects of the relationship; and
    (h)  the level of personal care and domestic support provided by one or each of the partners to the other.

It is not necessary to satisfy all of the above criteria to establish that a relationship is a caring relationship.  The court and where necessary other bodies will apply the relevant criteria on a case by case basis.  The courts (and other bodies) are not restricted to these factors in determining the existence of a caring relationship for the purposes of the Relationships Act.

The Relationships Act provides the Supreme Court with the power to conclusively determine whether or not a caring relationship exists or existed, regardless of whether either or both of the partners is deceased.