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Interdependency Woes

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Following reports of drastic and extraordinary lengths that members are going to to have their interdependent partnership approved by Defence, DEFGLIS provides the low down on what to do if your relationship is not yet recognised.

UPDATED INFORMATION (18 May 2016): New rules for recognising contemporary unwed Defence families

If you are in a relationship and you are not living together, you may have difficulty being recognized as in an Interdependent Partnership.  This is because the policy outlined in Defence Instruction (General) Personnel 53-1 requires that in normal circumstances you and your partner cohabitate in a single residence for a minimum of 90 days in order for your Commanding Officer to approve the application for recognition.

However, PACMAN.1.3.77A makes provision for each of the personnel branches to approve Interdependent Partnerships where this normal requirement is not met.

Every relationship is subtly different, and you should consider whether the following exceptional circumstances apply to you and can assist you with seeking recognition of your relationship:

  • You meet many of the proofs required that are outlined in DI(G) PERS 53-1 except for the 90 days of co-habitation
  • The reason that you are not cohabitating with your partner is because your personnel manager has not taken into account your family situation because Defence has not recognised your Interdependent Relationship.  In these cases, the requirements of the service may have prevented you from being able to meet the proof of 90 days of cohabitation.
  • You have no choice except to seek recognition of your relationship via the policy outlined in DI(G) PERS 53-1 because discrimination in Commonwealth Marriage Law prohibits you from being married and therefore prohibits your access to a Federal Marriage Certificate.  If Commonwealth law provided you with a choice, you would elect to be married and thereby seek recognition of your spouse via the provisions of PACMAN.1.3.77.

If you satisfy many of the other proofs required to establish that you are in an interdependent partnership except for co-habitation, you should ask you chain-of-command to consider your exceptional circumstances and refer the decision to Director-General Navy People, Director-General Personnel – Army, or Director-General Personnel – Air Force.

Seek clarification and resolution from your chain-of-command in the first instance if your interdependent partnership has been rejected, to increase the chances that you and your partner can live together for your next posting.  Try to discuss the relevant issues with your chain of command before taking radical or extraordinary action that may cause financial hardship.  There are additional complaint and resolution avenues available to you if you are not successful despite being in a bona fide committed relationship.

DEFGLIS recognises the significant contributions of families, who provide an important layer of support to service members … even from afar, and would like to assist if you are having difficulty with your interdependent partnership.

If you need further assistance or if you have additional queries, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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