Reviews - Change of Partner Status


This topic contains information on reviews conducted when a recipient's partnered (1.1.P.85) status changes and covers remarriage or reconciliation, and divorce status.

Remarriage or reconciliation

Reviews pay particular attention to questions about the recipient's:

  • partner status,
  • domestic circumstances, AND
  • maintenance.

Explanation: This is to detect changes that may affect entitlement, such as remarriages, divorces, and separations.

When a recipient marries, remarries, or reconciles with a partner (whether of the same sex or a different sex), the couple's combined income and assets (1.1.A.290) are taken into account to assess entitlement. A new partner, not already receiving a payment, may be invited to claim income support.

If the recipient is blind and receiving a pension free of the income or assets test, the couple's income and asset details should ONLY be requested, with an accompanying explanation, IF the:

  • recipient is receiving or claiming additional income and asset tested payments,
  • recipient is receiving or claiming RA, OR
  • partner is receiving or claiming a payment or service pension.

Act reference: SSAct section 10 Maintenance income definitions, section 95 Qualification for DSP-permanent blindness

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.P.210 Permanent blindness (DSP, Age)

Divorce status

The following table shows a recipient's status when:

  • divorced, OR
  • their marriage is annulled.

A recipient who has…

Is considered…

a divorce decree,

divorced WHEN the decree is absolute.

their marriage annulled under the Family Law Act 1975,

NOT to have been married.

their marriage annulled under the laws of another country,

in limited circumstances, to be divorced.

For information on terminated registered relationships refer to Determining a de facto relationship.

Last reviewed: 21 September 2015