Australia’s first same-sex divorce

The much anticipated Australian same-sex marriage laws will see same-sex weddings taking place before we ring in 2018.

In addition to same-sex couples now having the right to marry, the new laws also mean that couples who have previously been legally married abroad, will now have their union recognised under Australian law.

A same-sex Perth couple have been making headlines recently as they are anticipated to be the first same-sex couple to obtain a divorce under the new laws. In this case, the relationship is not ongoing, however, they are now recognised as being legally married under Australian law.

In addition to the personal impact of remaining married after the relationship has failed, if the couple do not obtain a divorce, the legal implications could be extensive.

As with all changes in your circumstances, your marital status can have a significant impact on your estate. For example, if you fail to obtain a legal divorce, your estranged husband or wife may have rights in relation to your assets and superannuation in the event of your death.

If you are separated from your husband or wife but have not obtained a divorce, you should be aware that in the event of your death, your estranged spouse may have rights in your estate or superannuation which take priority over your current spouse or children. This sometime occurs even in cases of long term separation.

Ensure your will is up to date

It is important to give regular consideration to your estate planning to ensure it reflects your current circumstances. Our team practices exclusively in Wills and Estate Law and are here to guide you through the estate planning process. If you require assistance with your estate planning or need advice regarding an estate related matter, we encourage you to call us on (07) 3025 9000 for an obligation free initial case assessment.

This blog contains general information and is not to be considered as legal advice specific to your circumstances.