Australian law recognises that same-sex couples and their children are entitled to receive the same level of protection under the law as heterosexual couples and their families. The major reforms to same-sex couples law came into effect in March 2009 at a time when marriage wasn’t possible (prior to December 2017 plebiscite). The reforms ensured that same-sex couples and their families are recognised and have the same entitlements as heterosexual couples when it comes to issues such as property settlements.
Broadly speaking our experience is that same sex couples, if they do have children have much in common with married heterosexual couples. In these same sex property cases the issues of future needs of the primary carer are often are at the forefront. Same sex couples with children, sometimes have very challenging legal concepts, based on the method of conception and birth, and we have been involved in cases where there are more than two “parents” or people seeking a right of custody or time with children.
We are aware of recent cases where same sex couples have, on the particular facts of the cases, received a different outcome to what we may have expected in traditional marriages. We need to assess which approach suits your case and argue those aspects of the law that add value to your case and minimise those factors that don’t.
If you’re separating in a same sex relationship and want more information on your legal rights, or need help negotiating financial, property and parenting issues should your same sex relationship break down, please contact us on 9793 7888 to discuss your situation.