The ‘Spouse’ Benefits

I used to read about same sex marriages and the peculiar problems they pose in USA. Here goes Australia too.

Australian Parliament has passed the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – Superannuation) Act 2008 (Act).

The Act amends the definition of ‘spouse’. It replaces the words ‘as husband or wife of the person’ with ‘in a relationship as a couple (whether the persons are the same sex or different sexes)’. The result is that ‘spouse’ will include a person who is in a relationship as a couple with another person irrespective of their gender.

This enables same-sex spouses to qualify as dependents for the purposes of payment of death benefits (including as a pension). There is no specified minimum time period for a couple to become “spouses”.

The definition of ‘child’ will be as follows:
‘Child’ in relation to a person includes:
a. An adopted child, a step-child and an ex-nuptial child of the person; and a child of the previous spouse.
b. If, at any time, the person was in a relationship as a couple with another person (whether the persons are the same sex/different sexes) – a child who is the product of the person’s relationship with that other person.
c. Someone who is a child of the person within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). This in section 4(1) of the Family Law Act means a ‘child’ as provided in Division I of Part VII.

This brings in a very different set of problems for pension and benefit administrators.
Indian Labour Law had similarity with the Australian labour laws.

Such laws will be made in India too.