Same Sex Relationships

At Stone Group Lawyers our family lawyers are able to assist in all facets of law surrounding gay and lesbian relationships.

In addition to this, we are able to assist in areas involving transgender and intersex individuals. It is our focus to ensure that we are kept well informed of the surrounding laws and changes relevant to the LGBTI communities.

Property Settlement

In Australia, same sex de facto couples have the same rights as heterosexual de facto or married couples when dividing their assets.

If the courts are required to make an order for property settlement they must be satisfied that:

  • You lived together in a relationship for at least two years; or
  • You have a child together; or
  • You and/or your ex-partner contributed to the relationship financially in substantial ways.

It is important to note that you will only have two years from the date of separation to file an application to the court for property orders or consent orders. For more information on options available to you such as Binding Financial Agreements and consent orders please click here. If you would like to know more about rights in a de-facto relationship, please click here.

Parenting – Assisted Parenting and Surrogacy

Queensland and Federal governments recognise both parents irrespective of their sex. If a child is born through a formal assisted reproductive technology procedure such as in vitro fertilisation or intrauterine insemination the non-birth parent can be identified as the parent of the child. In this instance, they will be listed on the birth certificate as ‘Parent’. In most cases of this type, whether or not the donor is known they do not have to be listed on the child’s birth certificate.

If you are in a male same sex relationship there are options for parenting. The most common one is to have an altruistic surrogacy arrangement. An altruistic surrogacy arrangement is one where a woman gives birth to a child for another couple and is not paid any money. In this situation, both fathers can be listed on the birth certificate as the parents. It is important to note that is currently illegal to particulate in a commercial surrogacy agreement and pay the woman carrying the child.

Parenting – Adoption

As of November 2016 same sex parent adoption is legal in Queensland. In addition to this, LGBTI individual and same sex stepparent adoption are now legal. Now, adoption by same sex couples is legally available in all jurisdictions of Australian except for Northern Territory and South Australia. Our expert family lawyers are able to assist you with your application process and ensuring you comply with all relevant laws.

Marriage

To date, Australian federal law does not recognise same sex marriages, however same sex couples are able to register their relationships with the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. There have been many attempts in federal parliament to legalise same sex however the amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 in 2004 remains in effect.

For more information in relation to any of the topics listed above, please contact one of our family lawyers for a free 45 minute consultation on 1300 088 440.

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