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Same Sex Divorce


With the law in Australia being changed (finally!) to allow same-sex couples to marry, it also brings about another important change – allowing those same-sex couples who married overseas to divorce in Australia.

Separated same sex couples in Australia who married overseas have been in legal limbo. Many of the countries allowing same sex marriage require at least one of the parties to be resident in their country in order to divorce. For those separated couples who reside in Australia, they have not been able to divorce in the country where they were married nor divorce in Australia, where they live.

As Australia now recognises overseas same sex marriages, just as we recognise overseas marriage between a heterosexual couple, the jurisdictional requirements to apply for a divorce are exactly the same.

An Application for Divorce may be instituted if, at the date on which the Application is filed, either party to the marriage is

  1. an Australian citizen;
  2. is domiciled in Australia; or
  3. is ordinarily resident in Australia and has been resident for one year immediately preceding that date.

The only ground for a divorce in Australia is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which is evidenced by 12 months separation.

Do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced family law team if you require any assistance relating to your same sex marriage.

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Written by Michelle McDermott on December 12, 2017

Michelle prefers a pragmatic approach to resolving matters and pays particular attention to ensuring that her clients not only feel supported in the process but also that they understand, and are involved in, the decision making throughout. If, however, Court proceedings are required, Michelle has the skills and strategies to litigate cases efficiently. View Michelle’s profile


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