Until now, same-sex couples who got married in another country where same-sex marriage has been available, but reside in Australia, were not able to obtain a divorce in Australia after their relationship had irretrievably broken down. This has changed overnight after the same-sex marriage bill passed the House of Representatives on the night of 7 December 2017.

Whilst Australian law allows people who entered into a polygamous marriage overseas to divorce here, it did not give the same right to same-sex couples. This was because the Family Law Act recognises polygamous marriages to be a marriage, but did not extend the same recognition to same-sex marriage. It has been 13 years since the Howard government changed the Marriage Act to ensure same-sex marriage could not be legal in Australia.

We are proud to confirm that after years of debate, a postal survey, and a long afternoon of amendments, same-sex marriage will be recognised in Australia from midnight tonight. What a day of cheers, applause and a great moment in our political history for love, equality and respect!

Announcements have focussed on the 9th of January 2018, when marriages will be able to start. There is a month delay from today because of the requirement for a Notice of Intention to Marry to issue 30 days prior to a wedding. But interestingly same-sex divorces can start to be filed straight away!

So whilst the Jensens might now have to plan their divorce, same-sex married couples who have separated but previously were in a legal limbo can now also legally file for divorce. Call us now on 03 9614 7111 or email Melbourne@nevettford.com.au to find out more information and to see how our friendly team can assist!