Same-Sex Relationships

Same-Sex Relationships

Same-sex couples and their children are entitled to the same protection under the Family Law Act as heterosexual couples and their families.

You can pursue financial and property settlements and you can also apply for child support agreements.

As with heterosexual couples, if you wish to get divorced, you must demonstrate that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. And you must have been separated for more than 12 months with no prospect of reconciliation.

Any Binding Financial Agreement made prior to same-sex marriage being recognised in Australian law will continue to be binding.

As the number of same-sex marriages rises, there is inevitably the need for same-sex divorce. 

Couples who have married since the 2017 amendment, or whose overseas marriage was recognised by the change in law, are able to obtain a divorce under the provisions of the Family Law Act.

Australia follows a “no-fault” divorce system where in order to get a divorce the couple must establish only that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

The couple must live apart for at least 12 months before they can apply for a divorce in Australia.

Both parties can continue to live in the marital home, but they need to live separate lives to meet the requirement of separation.

One spouse must be either an Australian citizen, live here and intend to do so for the indefinite future, or have resided in Australia for at least a year.

Newly married couples must also attempt to reconcile their differences through marriage counselling. This applies to all couples that have been married for less than two years, except in cases where there is a history of domestic violence, in which case the applicant can ask the court to waive the counselling requirement.

Is same-sex marriage legal in Australia?

Yes it is. Same-sex marriage in Australia has been legal since 9 December 2017.

Is a same-sex relationship treated the same as heterosexual relationships?

Yes they are. Fortunately under the Family Law Act 1975 both de facto and married people have the same rights to bring their matter to court. This is regardless of whether the relationship is between a man and a women, is a same-sex relationship or is between two consenting adults who do not identify with any gender norms.

Deanna has extensive experience in representing same-sex couples in all areas of Family Law. If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances and gain some legal advice, please book a free initial consultation with experienced Separation Lawyers by completing the form below.

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