You need to get permission from a Family Court judge if:

  • you want to get married or be in a civil union, or
  • you want to live with another person in a de facto relationship, and have that relationship recognised in law. This means you’ll have the same legal rights as people who are married or in a civil union.

A Family Court judge can give their consent if they’re satisfied that:

  • you’re not being influenced or forced into the relationship by another person
  • you understand the consequences and want the judge to give their consent
  • it’s in your best interests.

How to apply

If both of you are aged 16 or 17, you both need to apply for consent by filling out separate copies of the 3 forms below.

If one of you is aged 18 or older, only the younger person needs to fill out the 3 forms.

Application form for order (or declaration) on notice – G5 [PDF, 47 KB]

General affidavit form [PDF, 38 KB]

Information sheet to accompany applications – G7 [PDF, 44 KB]

How the judge makes the decision

The judge may want to talk to you both before deciding to give consent; they may also want to talk to your parent or guardian. This means you’ll be asked to come to the Family Court for a hearing.

The judge may appoint a lawyer to speak for you at the hearing, but you’ll still need to attend. You won’t need to pay for the lawyer.

The judge may also appoint a lawyer to assist the court or ask an expert for a report about you and your culture. This information helps the judge to make their decision.

What happens next

If the judge grants consent, you’ll receive a Court Order. You’ll need to give this to Births, Deaths and Marriages when you apply for a marriage licence or a civil union licence.