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Same Sex Family Lawyer

Same Sex Marriage


When same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 commenced. The Act amended the Marriage Act 1961 by redefining the concept of marriage as “the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others” rather than the union of “a man and a woman.”

The team at Nevett Ford is committed to helping same-sex couples overcome any hurdles in order to be lawfully married and to assist in any other areas of family law.

Same-Sex, Bisexual and Transgender De Facto Relationships

We have also found that the recognition of same-sex marriages has led to a significant increase in people in couples realising that they are in fact in de facto relationships, and no longer minimising the nature of their relationship. This has been excellent for people re-evaluating and recognising their worth to a relationship, but has also resulted in people realising that they may be exposed in terms of a claim on their property with their live-in partner.

Cohabitation or Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements, or binding financial agreements, are legally binding agreements between you and your partner about your property. They can be created before, during or after your de facto relationship or marriage, in order to protect your assets. 

If you are a same-sex or bisexual couple, looking for clearly defined outcomes of a property settlement in case you separate, consider speaking to one of our lawyers about creating a prenuptial agreement. We are also happy to talk to you about your access to these types of documents if you are unsure whether there might be complications in any of these documents due to the nature of your sexual or gender identity as well, including if there has been a transition before during or after your relationship.

Seeking legal advice is critical and a requirement of the law before entering into any such arrangement.

Same-Sex Immigration

The Migration Act 1958 allows Australian citizens to bring family members to Australia through the family migration stream. Spouses, fiancés and de facto partners are just a few of the eligible applicants. Prior to 2017, same-sex partners had to apply under an interdependency visa which had stricter criteria compared to partner or spousal visas.

With the legalisation of same-sex marriage, same-sex marriages that have been solemnised in a foreign jurisdiction are now recognised irrespective of the time of the marriage. Therefore, same-sex couples who were married overseas may be automatically considered legally married in Australia.

The new migration pathways for visa applications in same-sex relationships can be quite complex, especially when it comes to navigating the requirements of lodging partner visas. As the migration law changes frequently, it is important to obtain advice from one of our legal professionals before launching any visa application.

Same-Sex Divorce

In family law, divorce is defined as the irrecoverable breakdown of a relationship between two parties, evidenced by way of at least 12 months of separation. Same-sex couples enjoy the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, including the right to annul marriage and end the legal binding of two parties.

The issues and obstacles that apply to heterosexual marriages, such as custody of children and matters such as shared care arrangements can affect same-sex marriages as well. If you need a divorce, our experts are here to help you get the resolution you need. The experienced same-sex divorce lawyers at Nevett Ford are ready to resolve your disputes and guide you at every step of the process.

Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne is committed to inclusive laws and access to those laws in Australia, including same-sex laws, gay rights, and trans recognition. We believe proudly in ensuring that the entire community has greater, more transparent access to family law services, particularly with the legalisation of gay marriage and lesbian marriage in Australia. We provide services to the community 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 gay and lesbian property separation.

If you are wondering how same-sex marriage might have changed things for the LGBT community from a legal perspective (aside from a boom in the wedding planning industry), we have the answers.

What we often find is underappreciated though is the existing access to family law systems, and the new access that has been provided as a result of this historic change. Our team of experienced lawyers cover a range of family law services, including same-sex marriage, pre-nuptial agreements, immigration and divorce. 

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.

Nevett Ford came 2nd in the 2021 ‘Champions of Pride’ awards in recognition of our commitment, both pledged and implemented, to the advancement of diversity and inclusion initiatives pertaining to legal professionals who identify as LGBTQI+


In family law compared to other areas of law, there is a higher emotional stake for clients as they are dealing with current or former loved ones. In order to determine the best path forward, speak to the team at Nevett Ford. Here are a few reasons why you might wish to access our expert advice:

  • Decades of experience and a wide range of service areas means we can draw on knowledge from across our firm to inform your decisions.
  • Initial fixed cost consultations, so you know where you stand before committing to a course of action.
  • Personal, tailored service that accommodates your needs and what value you will get from our service, instead of one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Speak to your lawyer with no ‘gatekeeping’ by support staff.

 Get in touch with Nevett Ford today for a comprehensive legal solution.


Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value

“Friendly, professional service. Subject matter promptly dealt with. Will recommend them.”

Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value

“Ryan Curtis-Griffiths and Jacqui Azouz provided excellent legal work.  I am a lawyer in the United States so I expect a lot.  And I got it from Ryan and Jacqui.  They are knowledgeable, efficient and very easy to work with. I will use them whenever I have an opportunity. “

Professionalism, Responsiveness, Value

“I cannot find any words to describe the professionalism of thos firm. Everyone from the reception to financial services and not to say Mae who helped out was absolutely amazing. I had Richard Hamilton who was definitely someone I will always have to represent me if I need any further help. Keep up the fantastic work ?  “

Reliable Lawyer and Good Expertise

“Richard Hamilton is a very genuine lawyer with very good expertise, good values and ethics of responsibility. He is not one of the lawyers in the market who would deceive you with false hopes. I found him very reliable which is something you need when you are going through a difficult family court case. Richard is also very good in returning to calls and emails. I definitely recommend him.”

Excellent services and advice

“Ryan has been my migration lawyer of a number of years now and has been successful in obtaining PR and Australian Citizenship for me. His advice is clear, straight forward and tailored to an individual’s needs. He puts in the effort and time and always cares for his clients. Overall, I received a first-class service from him, and I highly recommend him to anyone looking for migration advice.”

The best immigration service provider in Mel

“In all respect to achieve your PR and the pathway for citizenship was done very professionally ! Special thanks to Rayan ( MD) who helped me in all the way throughout to achieve goal.”

Best choice

“Ryan Curtis-Griffiths knowledge of immigration law, a skills in preparing all documents, excellent communication skills, rapid response to my inquiries, thoughtful and good listener.”

Professional Service with Attention to Detail

“We engaged Nevett Ford Lawyers to prepare our 186 Business Nomination and Visa Application. Ryan provided outstanding service by assisting us with all his experience in the industry. It was the best decision to work with Ryan as he always listened to our instructions and assisted with timely advise. I would definitely recommend Ryan and his team to anyone looking for a Immigration lawyer.”

Professional Service and Prompt Response

“Ryan and his team made sure the process of 186 Business Nomination and Visa application were as seamless as possible. We always received prompt response and correct advise regarding the matter. I would happily recommend Ryan and Nevett Ford to anyone who wants assistance with 186 visas.”

Best Lawyers in the business

“Looked after me. Always made sure I knew what was going on and why, but also made sure my mental health was top priority.”

Very professional team

“Great professional team, best communicating with the customer.”

Legal expertise, Client focused service, Courtesy

“Nevett Ford Lawyers, including paralegals and administrative staff, displayed professional and reliable services. All staff with whom I interacted responded promptly to my queries and requests. Their polite and friendly manner was appreciated and reassuring.”

Professional, Efficient & Supportive

“A Positive outcome of Permanent Residency from a Ministerial Intervention is what we achieved through Nevett Ford Lawyers. David Stratton and his Team have been highly efficient and professional along the entire journey through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and Ministerial Intervention. The Team managed our file with great care and patience while supporting us through the entire process during the past four years. We would highly recommend Nevett Ford Lawyers for their Professionalism and Task Accomplishments.”

Ryan and Shalini worked extremely hard for us

“Ryan and Shalini’s communication skills were what really stood out to us. They replied to emails most of the time within minutes and did a good job on helping us stay realistic about expectations as our case was extremely difficult and had a high chance of failure, they did a brilliant job of getting the visa through for my partner.”

Service provided was professional & prompt

“Great communication, friendly interaction with all staff (including reception), prompt and did what they said they would do.”

Navigating a tricky workplace case

“Generous with their time. Fair and pragmatic advice from which I was able to make an informed decision.”

Mlam Camou (MlCam)
Mlam Camou (MlCam)
I will recommend definitely this services to anyone who wants a clear and positive outcome for his immigration case. Professionalism and experience are also 2 very important points to consider when you decide Nevett ford to represent you. I am satisfy with their work to be honest.Thank you Nevett Ford Lawyers for your excellent work.
Lisa-Marie Hinton
Lisa-Marie Hinton
My visa application was the most challenging time of my life. It was so much pressure, lots of tears and emotions. Ryan and the wonderful Team guided our family and secured my husband and children Citizenship and my PR. I think Ryan has a beautiful heart and is very kind. He listened to me when I was at my wits-end and could only cry on the phone. I would choose Ryan again. It has been a difficult journey but he never gave up on helping my family in the fight of staying together. Forever grateful. The Hintons xxx
Vivien Karabinas
Vivien Karabinas
The expertise and service received by lawyer Sophie Stickland was efficient, caring and reasonably priced. I would highly recommend her. Thank you.
Jervin Paul Dhas
Jervin Paul Dhas
Had the pleasure of working with Lili for my PR application and I had a very good experience. She was very responsive and guided me and provided updates in every step and the entire process was smooth and quick. Highly recommend their services and one of the best. Thanks again Team
Tom Simpson
Tom Simpson
During the period between 2020 - 2023 i was applying for a permanent partner visa and hired Ryan to assist me.I had spoke to 7 other immigration lawyers prior to Ryan, and the general feedback i would get back was negative (installing doubt into my mind about the likelihood of obtaining a visa in my circumstance). Ryan was the only lawyer who had a positive attitude and was optimistic about my situation and gave me a lot of free advice about what i could do even before i hired him, this was a major green flag to me so i made the decision to hire him.I couldn't of asked for a better lawyer, i would highly recommended his services to anyone. Good communication, fast responses, never hesitant to answer any queries, pleasant to speak to and most importantly a good lawyer that gets the job done.I recently obtained my PR after a 3 year process and I cannot thank Ryan (and the team) enough for their service.
Hieronim Wiatrowski
Hieronim Wiatrowski
Lili Sibic was ery professional and helpful. Highly recommended ????
Jessica Liu
Jessica Liu
Awesome and extremely professional and patient. Highly recommended!!!
Experienced, organised and friendly, Ryan is always helpful and reassuring during the entire visa application process. The entire duration has made him more than just a lawyer but a friend.
Hiro Kamisugi
Hiro Kamisugi
Nathan and Jean as team helped me for my first home purchase. Even though I knew nothing of this matter, they made my whole journey nice and comfortable. Everyone around myself tells me that purchasing home is a very stressful journey, but I was totally fine with their help. Don’t think I can ever ask anyone else for my next home in the future!

    Contact us

    *If you are overseas, please call our office on +61 3 9614 7111.

    Nevett Ford Melbourne Pty Ltd

    ABN: 80 144 697 790

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