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Family Law and the LGBT communities

In Australia the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities have faced a history of discrimination in many aspects of their life. This is true so far as Family Law is concerned too, although in roads are at last being made to improve equality for those in same sex relationships.

The recent sanctioning of gay marriage has helped same sex relationships achieve some of the same status as opposite sex couples.

There remain many issues facing persons in same sex relationships across Australia. At a Federal level at any rate the recent changes expand the legal recognition in a number of areas.


Married or de facto same sex relationships

Under Australian Family Law governing same sex relationships, couples may now be either married or de facto. Marital status is easily determined by the marriage ceremony but establishing whether a de facto relationship exists can be a little less certain.

The law defines a ‘de facto’ relationship, for the purposes of the Family Law Act 1975 at least, at section 4AA of the Act which you can access here.

Applying a number of assessment criteria will lead to a conclusion as to whether there is or was a de facto relationship. Read our web page explaining a little more about De Facto relationships in Family Law


Property, Children and Same Sex Relationships

The Family Law Act deals with arrangements for children of same sex relationships as well as property division in the event of separation.

The criteria adopted when a court has to make decisions about property and parenting are the same as opposite sex relationships.


Please note that the above is general information only. It is not legal advice and should not be taken as such or relied upon.