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De Facto & Same Sex Marriage

Parties in de facto relationships that have broken down since 1 March 2009 will have any proceedings (including property division) dealt with under the Family Law Act in the same way as a marriage.


The Marriage Act was amended in 2017 to redefine marriage as “the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”. The effect of this amendment is that parties to a same-sex marriage are now treated under the same marriage principles.


The passing of the 2017 Act immediately recognised earlier same-sex marriages that were legally performed overseas. An overseas marriage can be evidenced in Australia through an original or certified copy of a marriage certificate, or a record or entry of marriage that was issued by a proper authority in the relevant country.


In order to be granted with a divorce, the couple must establish that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and that the couple have lived apart for at least 12 months before applying for their divorce.

We provide legal advice in relation to all aspects of the above, including for example same-sex prenuptial agreements for the start of relationships, advice on whether you are in a de facto relationship, and the obligations that may arise through to divorce, and property separation.

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