The Marriage Act 1961 recognises a valid marriage to be the union of a man and a woman for life. This means that, so far in Australia, a union solemnised between a man and a man or a woman and a woman that has taken place in a foreign country will not be accepted as a valid marriage in Australia.
Therefore we cannot say that a gay or a lesbian marriage performed in a foreign country will be described as a valid marriage here in Australia.
Same sex relationships are acknowledged as de facto relationship under the provisions of the Family Law Act 1975. Same sex couples will enjoy the same rights in a family law court following separation as to parenting, property adjustment and financial issues as if they had entered into a validly recognised marriage.
You will be considered as a de facto couple if the following 3 criteria are met:
- You are not legally married to each other
- You are not related to each other by marriage
- You have lived together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis for at least 2 years
Make an appointment with Fay to discuss all issues pertinent to your relationship to determine how the laws are relevant to your circumstances.