On 9 December 2017, same-sex marriage became legal across Australia allowing same-sex couples the same right to marry previously only afforded to heterosexual couples. In legal terms, marriage is a status between two people which attaches certain rights and responsibilities during and after the event of the marriage.
Now that same-sex marriage is legal across Australia, those who were previously married in an overseas jurisdiction or had their marriage sworn in the presence of a diplomatic officer of a foreign country (within Australia), are now able to have their marriage legally recognised in Australia.
Significantly, this also means that those Australians who were married under the laws of a foreign nation, now have the ability to divorce in Australia.
Same Sex Marriage Divorce Law Experts
Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers is comprised of a team of experienced specialist Australian Family Lawyers who provide an extensive range of high quality legal services within the area of family law including both domestic and international family and divorce law. Our family law experts are able to assist you through every step of the divorce process and endeavour to make the process as smooth as possible.
Where a married couple has separated and is now contemplating divorce, this process must be done in the Federal Circuit Court (formerly the Federal Magistrates Court).
Divorce in Australia does not require any fault on the part of either party. This means it is not necessary to prove that the person you are married to has done something wrong which has caused the breakdown of the relationship and marriage.
For a divorce application to proceed, it must be proved to the court that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. This is shown by a period of separation of 12 months immediately before filing the divorce application. This period must be a complete period where at no point in time was there reconciliation of the relationship, except that if there is a reconciliation of up to 3 months, then the separation periods before and after that reconciliation can be combined for a total of the required 12 months.
It must also be shown that the other party to the divorce has been served with a copy of the divorce application at least 28 days prior to the divorce or hearing, or at least 42 days before the date of the divorce hearing if the other party to the divorce lives overseas.
Courts are very concerned where there are children of the marriage. If there is a child or children under the age of 18, a court can only progress a divorce application if it is satisfied there are appropriate living arrangements in place for them, or if the court considers it to appropriate to proceed even if there are not appropriate living arrangements in place.
Where there is 'joint property' between two people who are separating or divorcing, this can be divided in the process of property settlement, but this is separate from the divorce process. If there is no previous agreement on how the property is to be divided either by way of a financial agreement or court consent orders, then the Courts have the power to decide how the joint property is to be divided. Where property is to be divided following the end of a marriage, an experienced Australian family lawyer from Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers will ensure your interests are looked after and the best possible outcome is achieved for you.
If, in a property settlement application there is property located in overseas jurisdiction(s), it is vital that an expert divorce lawyer is able to protect a person's interests to ensure the most fair outcome is achieved. Such applications can become extremely complex and without expert legal representation a person risks losing their interest in assets in the divorce process.
Where the proceedings are undefended (where the other party to the divorce does not oppose the divorce) and where there are no children of the marriage under the age of 18 years, the divorce proceedings may be heard without either of the parties being present.
Where there are children of the marriage who are under 18 years of age, the applicant to the divorce must be present to inform the court as to the arrangements of the children of the marriage, unless it is a joint application. A party to a divorce may apply to attend by electronic communication. To attend by electronic communication, the court will consider such matters as distance, illness or disability, expense, security and whether the other party objects.
There are a number of essential elements which need to be proved to the court before it can finalise a divorce application. It is essential any party to a divorce application is properly advised on their particular circumstances to ensure the divorce process completes as smoothly and economically as possible.
It is vital for the protection of your children, personal affairs and interests that an accredited Australian family law specialist advises you on your legal position and where necessary represents you to ensure the best possible outcome where your interests may be compromised.
Our offices are conveniently located in Surry Hills and Parramatta. To speak to a specialist family lawyer about filing for divorce or any family law matter contact Sarah Bevan Lawyers on 1300 007 235 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.