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LGBTQI+ Divorce

At Nevett Ford, our LGBTQI+-friendly divorce lawyers are committed to ensuring LGBTQI+ couples who wish to end their marriage are carefully guided with expert legal advice pertaining to their rights and obligations.

Our lesbian and gay divorce lawyers work closely with our clients to assist them through the issues and obstacles that may arise in a divorce – including custody of children and shared property settlements. We are dedicated to providing solid and actionable legal advice tailored and empathetic to our client’s individual circumstances.

Whether you are looking for a lesbian and gay divorce lawyer near you or want a better understanding of your legal rights as part of a separating LGBTQI+ couple, get in touch us and we will assist you in getting the resolution you need. Our experts are ready to resolve your disputes, help you file your divorce application, prepare your affidavit, and guide you through every step of this difficult process.

Why Choose
Nevett Ford 

Supportive and Inclusive

We understand LGBTQI+ divorce is a complex area of family law and has a high emotional stake for clients as it involves the end of a relationship between two parties. Hence, we always consider the nuances of LGBTQI+ divorce cases in a supportive and inclusive manner.

Extensive Experience

Our team of dedicated divorce lawyers at Nevett Ford have years of experience handling legal matters specific to LGBTQI+ relationships. We also have a wide range of service areas where we can draw on knowledge from across our firm to inform your decisions.

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Initial Fixed Cost Consultations

We value transparency. Hence, we always ensure our clients know where they stand in a case before committing to a course of action.

Personal and Tailored Service

Our lesbian and gay divorce lawyers are trained to accommodate all your needs. We work closely with our clients to ensure you get a service tailored to your situation instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.

Case #1

A client came to get advice from us, and at the start of that engagement assumed that his entitlements as a partner in a long-term same sex relationship were not equivalent to or comparable to those made by parties in a long-term heterosexual relationship by virtue of the nature of the relationship. He was willing to accept a very low outcome as a result. Having received advice from us, and engaged us to act, he obtained an outcome significantly more advantageous to him, and in line with what the Family Law Act 1975 would expect for a man in his situation.

Case #2

A separated woman previously in a same sex relationship consulted us in relation to parental rights including access and parental responsibility that were being denied to her not because of a denial by the other party that there was a long term relationship or that the child had a meaningful relationship with her, but simply by nature of the woman’s role in the donor insemination, where our client was not a biological parent. As a result of some quick intervention and the intercession of the Court, the woman not spends significant and substantial time with her son.

Case #3

A trans woman consulted us about the division of her property with her girlfriend, who was insisting on using our client’s former name (which she legally changed) in correspondence, causing greater hurt and harm to our client. We ensured that the correct name was used on all documents, and assisted with ensuring that manipulative or damaging behaviour should not be tolerated simply because you are in dispute with someone.

Award Recipient of the Lawyers Weekly Champions of Pride 2021

Nevett Ford was awarded runner-up in the Champions of Pride 2021 hosted by Lawyers Weekly. This is in recognition of our commitment, both pledged and implemented, to advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives pertaining to clients as well as legal professionals who identify as LGBTQI+

We will continue to support the move towards inclusion and celebration of diversity so that no one is discriminated against, especially in the eyes of the law.

FAQ

Are there any differences between LGBTQI+ divorces and heterosexual divorces?

The amended Marriage Act gives LGBTQI+ marriages the same legal status as heterosexual marriages. Thus, gay and lesbian divorce proceedings are the same as heterosexual divorces.

What are the legal criteria for LGBTQI+ divorce?

Just as with heterosexual couples, LGBTQI+ couples can apply for a divorce if they can prove that their marriage has broken down irretrievably. You are not required to provide reasoning as to why the marriage has ended due to the “no-fault” divorce system outlined in the Family Law Act 1975.

However, you must demonstrate that you and your spouse have been separated for a minimum of 12 months before filing the divorce application. Either you or your spouse must also fulfil one of the following criteria in order to file for divorce in Australia:

  • Must be an Australian citizen by birth, descent, or by a grant of Australian citizenship.
  • Must regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely.
  • Must have been living in Australia for at least 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
Is it possible to be separated but still remain living in the same house?

Yes, it is possible. You do not necessarily need to have been living together to be considered “separated” – you just need to demonstrate that you have not been in a relationship for a minimum of 12 months before your divorce application.

If we married overseas, can I get my divorce in Australia?

The amendments to the Marriage Act legally recognised LGBTQI+ marriages that had been solemnised overseas and allow eligible couples to apply for a gay or lesbian divorce in Australia.

LGBTQI+ marriages that were solemnised in Australia by a diplomatic or consular officer under the law of a foreign country prior to the Marriage Act amendments are also recognised under the current Act and couples can apply for a divorce accordingly.

Can I get divorced if my marriage certificate is not in English?

You are required to provide a valid marriage certificate in order to be granted a divorce by the court. Valid here refers to being readable by the Australian Family Court.

Hence, if your marriage certificate is not in English, you need to get it translated. Once that is done, you have to submit the translated certificate with an affidavit of the translator stating their qualifications as a translator as well as a certification that the English translation is an accurate translation of the original.

What is the divorce application process?

You can either make a “sole application” by yourself and serve a copy of the document to your spouse or make a “joint application” with your spouse.

If you make a “sole application” you will need to attend court if there are any children under 18 involved. However, if it is a “joint application”, there is no requirement for either party to attend court.

Once the application is signed by both parties, it is then submitted to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, along with the valid marriage certificate. After checking off all the legal requirements and the court is satisfied that the marriage has broken down irreversibly, they will grant you the official divorce order a month and a day after the hearing.

When can I remarry?

Couples can only marry once the divorce is finalised – a month and a day after the hearing. It is illegal to marry someone when you are already married, and the second marriage will have no legal effect.

If you would like to marry a new partner in Australia while still being married to another person overseas, you will need to divorce your overseas partner before marrying again.

It is also worth noting that LGBTQI+ couples who married overseas cannot marry each other again in Australia unless there is a concern that the foreign marriage may not be valid. However, you can hold a different type of ceremony such as a confirmation of vows.

We understand that every LGBTQI+ divorce is different so our team of professional and empathetic LGBTQI+ divorce lawyers are ready to answer any questions and work closely with you to offer expert legal advice according to your circumstances.

Who You’ll Work With

Richard Hamilton
Catalano Clay
Erin Trantino
Jenny Christofidis
Maggie Wang
Stacey Raphael

CONTACT US

for a free 10 min obligation-free phone consultation

Nevett Ford Melbourne Pty Ltd

ABN: 80 144 697 790

Level 16, South Tower, Rialto Building, 525 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000