Explainer: what legal benefits do married couples have that de facto couples do not?

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Opponents of marriage equality often say that married and de facto couples already have the same rights

To what extent is this true?

And, in legal terms, how much do the differences matter?

In an opinion piece last week, former prime minister Tony Abbott claimed:

Already, indeed, same-sex couples in a settled domestic relationship have exactly the same rights as people who are married.”

Agal 6fThis isn’t true.

At the most fundamental level, same-sex couples do not have the right to marry and therefore do not have “marriage equality”.

While de facto couples may be able to assert some of the same rights as married couples, they often have to expend significant time, money and…

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