Same-Sex Divorce Lawyers
Burke Mead Lawyers are experienced family lawyers and have worked with same-sex couples through the divorce & separation process. As experts in family law matters, we use our experience navigating the Australian family law system to support our clients with a range of legal services and professional advice.
Our family law services are delivered by a dedicated team who understand how to navigate same sex divorces with compassion and care. We are experienced in mediation and the family court system, and can help guide you and your family to the best possible outcome.
If you need practical legal advice on the divorce process as a same sex couple, contact BurkeMead Lawyers to book a private and confidential consultation.
The Benefits of Working with a Same Sex Divorce Lawyer
There are many benefits to working with a family lawyer who is experienced in navigating the divorce process with same-sex couples.
The end of a marriage is not an easy decision to make and we pride ourselves on handling this difficult time with clarity, sensitivity and with a focus on the needs of your family moving forward.
Using our experience with mediation and family law, we will work with you every step of the way to ensure a resolution that provides the best possible outcome for you and your family. Our goal in working with you is to minimise the financial and emotional toll often associated with divorce and separation.
With experienced and caring legal representation, our team can assist with:
- Marriage and de facto relationship breakdowns
- Spousal maintenance and child support, and any other binding financial agreement
- Parenting arrangements, such as child custody and parenting orders
- Property settlement, including home and contents, family trusts and SMSF, and assets related to businesses
- Matters where allegations have been made about family violence or other risk issues
- Appealing court decisions
How the Divorce Process Works
The divorce process in NSW can be a complicated and involved process. To legally end your marriage you will need to make a sole or joint application to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia for a divorce. You will also need to provide a variety of documentation and evidence to support the application, including:
- Proof of Australia citizenship, permanent residency, or living in Australia for at least 12 months (required before applying for a divorce)
- Marriage certification or equivalent documentation to prove you have a valid marriage
- Proof that the marriage has broken down beyond reconciliation and there is no chance that you and your spouse will get back together
- Your separation date, as you must be separated for 12 months before applying for divorce
- Show that proper arrangements have been made for the care of dependents or show there are circumstance that warrant making the divorce order even if the Court is not satisfied that care arrangements have been made (only applies if you have children under the age of 18)
The process of divorce includes the following steps:
- Complete the divorce application online
- Serve the application to your spouse if you are making a sole application at least 28 days before the hearing date (you do not need to serve any documents to your spouse if you made a joint application)
- File the service documents, which is proof to the court that your spouse has been served (if applicable)
- Attend a court hearing if you have children under the age of 18 or are asking the Court to make other orders about service (you do not have to attend a court hearing if you made a joint application, have no dependents, or have been married less than 2 years)
- The Court makes its final decision/s which can include granting your divorce, grant your divorce without finalising it until proper arrangements are made for dependents, adjourn your case (postpone it if the Court requires more evidence or information), or dismiss your application.
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Same Sex Divorce Lawyers FAQs
A family lawyer can help you through every step of the divorce process. They can assist you with your divorce application and file it with the Courts, and they can help you through the mediation process for your property settlement and/or to make parental arrangements.
While you are not required to work with a lawyer, for the proceedings to happen as quickly and painlessly as possible, then it is worth working with a divorce lawyer. Especially in cases where the separation is less amicable, having an objective legal expert on your side can be extremely useful. Experienced family lawyers, like Burke Mead Lawyers, can assist you with these additional family law proceedings.
Same sex couples now have all the same rights as heteronormative couples according to Australian family law and their rights are protected under the Family Law Act. The process for divorce is the same for everyone who can legally get married, including:
- You must be separated for at least 12 months before you can file a divorce application (including separation under the same roof).
- After separation you must apply for a divorce, finalise a property settlement, and/or seek orders for parenting arrangements.
- You can apply for a divorce order, whether both parties want it or only one does.
- You have the same rights to the no-fault divorce process, which means the Court does not take into consideration the circumstances surrounding the marriage breakdown.
- You have the same rights to enter into Binding Financial Agreements pre- and post-marriage, including a prenuptial agreement.
- You can make an application for property settlement or spousal maintenance at any time, including before you file for divorce and up to one year after the divorce has been finalised.
- If you are able to amicably negotiate financial and parental matters on your own, with or without the assistance of a family lawyer, you can finalise these applications by entering into Consent Orders (this makes the agreement legally binding).
If you are working with a divorce lawyer, they can file your application for you; alternatively, you can apply for divorce online. There are two options: you can apply on your own (sole application) or with your spouse (joint application). You will need to complete and print your application and sign the Affidavit for eFiling Application (Divorce) in front of a solicitor or Justice of the Peace.
Depending on the complexity of your circumstances, the amicability of the parties separating, and the experience of the family lawyers you’re working with, the time it takes to complete divorce proceedings (including child custody and property settlement) can vary.
The minimum amount of time you could reasonably expect is approximately 4 months, but it could take as long as 18 months to resolve. However, how long your divorce will take will depend on your unique needs, as no two cases are the same, which is why it’s best to work with an experienced divorce lawyer.
To prepare for a divorce consultation, you should try to gather as much information and details on the following:
- Yourself – identification documents, work history and financial details
- Your spouse – identification details, work history and financial details
- Dependents – details relating to your dependents
- Marriage details – legal documents, dates of marriage and separation, financial assets, businesses, superannuation, etc.
Bring any information or documents that might seem relevant that refers to a date, time, finance, or logistic of your marriage. You should also bring information about any dependents affected and bring details or documents pertaining to any existing arrangements that have been made since separating.
It is easier if both parties sign the Divorce Application. It is also worth noting, that if you make a joint application, you do not need to serve documents on the other party and court attendance will not be required.
However, if you are applying for divorce as a sole applicant, then you will need to serve a copy of the application to your spouse, who will then need to file a Response to Divorce stating whether they agree with the application for divorce or not. If they don’t agree or make it difficult to serve papers to them, this process can take much longer. In these circumstances it is vital to work with an experienced divorce lawyer.
Much like the average time a divorce will take, the average cost of a divorce (including custody and property settlement) in Australia can also vary depending on the complexity of your needs and the amiability of the parties. Some costs you can expect include:
- Filing Fee – A legal divorce requires an Application for Divorce to be filed with the Court, which is $990. However, if you need to go through the Court for custody and property settlement, the cost can become quite expensive, costing thousands (tens of thousands even) of dollars. This is why it’s best to work with a specialist divorce lawyer, like BurkeMead Lawyers, who are experienced in mediation and negotiation.
- Solicitor Fees – Most divorce lawyers have an hourly rate which can vary between $300 to $500 per hour, depending on their experience and other factors.
The end cost of completing divorce proceedings can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case and the amiability of the parties involved.
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