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Megan Dansie

- 10 Apr 2015
  • Family Law

Equal rights: Taking your same sex relationship issues to Family Court

Even though same sex marriage is not legal in Australia, you still have the same property settlement rights in the Family court as de facto heterosexual couples.

The law changed in South Australia in July 2010, giving you access to the Family court system.

You can ask the court to help sort out property, or get consent court orders if you have lived in a de facto relationship for at least 2 years.

And, you have 2 years from your separation to apply to the court.

Child custody and access issues can also be dealt with by the Family court.

Only a birth or adoptive mother or father is seen as a “parent” under the Family Law Act and so the rights of a “co-parent” may not be the same.

However, if that is your situation, you can still apply for custody or contact orders if you are a significant person in the child’s life.

It is important to get legal advice as soon as possible after separation.

Child support can also be a difficult issue.

Gay or lesbian co-parents cannot be made to pay child support and only birth parents are liable to pay.

However, the Child Support Agency may still define co-parents as eligible carers who are then able to provide child support.