There are a lot of factors why marriages fail, and this is also true for same-sex marriage. In Australia, the Family Law Act of 1975 recognises same-sex unions since December 2017. Same-sex couples who have settled in Australia for more than a year or those who have been granted citizenship can file for divorce like any ordinary couples who want to get out of a marriage. Here are the essential things you may need to know if you’re going to file for divorce from your partner or spouse.
You can file for divorce in Australia even you got married in another country
Since 9 December 2017, divorce lawyers in places like Townsville are aware that same-sex marriage is legal in Australia, and even if your union was solemnised in another country, it’s possible for you to file for divorce from your spouse. However, you and your spouse might face some implications if you have a pre-nuptial agreement before same-sex marriage was recognised in the country.
For example, if you are receiving any maintenance orders for yourself or your children, you could cease to receive those benefits if your estranged spouse gets married. Some same-sex couples consider consulting an experienced lawyer to protect their interest during a divorce procedure.
This is especially true if you have adopted children during your marriage. The court should determine if appropriate arrangements are in place to protect the children’s welfare before granting your divorce. You may find it easy to file for divorce as a same-sex couple, but a skilled lawyer may give you valuable insights to ensure that your rights are protected.
Filing for divorce in Australia is easy
The Australia Family Law uses the “no-fault divorce” which means the court doesn’t determine who among the couple is at fault for the marriage failure. Like any ordinary couple, same-sex couples in Australia can individually file for divorce, if they are living apart for at least 12 months.
If you’re living separately with your estranged spouse, the court may determine that your relationship is irreparable and that you’ve both decided to part ways. Filing for divorce is also possible if you and your estranged spouse both live in the same house. However, you may need the help of a divorce lawyer to prove your divorce claims. You need to show that you and your spouse are estranged even if you are living under one roof.
Filing for divorce can also be done online; however, divorcing same-sex couples may want to contact the National Enquiry Centre as the online process is not yet available for same-sex marriages.
There are also fees you’ll need to pay when filing for divorce. The typical divorce application fee in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia costs 900 AUD, but there are situations when you can lower your divorce application fee to 300 AUD.
Same-sex couples have the same rights and options as heterosexual couples in Australia, though some aspects still need improvement. Although filing for divorce is easy, enlisting a skilled lawyer might be important if you want to protect your best interests as an individual.