Every relationship is different. That said, same sex and LGBTQ+ unions face some extra challenges, especially around legal parentage. When a same sex marriage or same sex de facto relationship breaks down, those issues might suddenly loom large.
Our empathetic team of family lawyers have helped many gay, lesbians and LGBTQ+ couples navigate the tricky area of family law. We put diversity and equality at the heart of what we do.
With Unified Lawyers at your side, you’ll have the advice and experience you need to take the next step. Whether it’s the divorce process, property division, financial maintenance or parenting arrangements, we’re Here For You.
We utilise mediation and alternative dispute resolution to keep you out of court if we can.
We’ll work with you to find common ground and a path forward.
And if you can’t agree, we’ll go to battle for you in court.
We’ve been named one of Sydney’s top three family lawyers for the past four years running. That’s thanks to our communication skills, legal know-how and tireless advocacy for our clients.
We have been rated top three best Family Lawyers for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Reviews from our Happy Clients
I had a fantastic and smooth experience with Unified Lawyers from beginning to end. Stanley was there every step of the way to assist with my first home purchase. He was also available to answer my calls and emails (I had plenty given it was my first purchase!), communication was never an issue. Highly recommend Unified Lawyers for anyone that needs professional legal advice/service.read more
20:24 13 Dec 20
I am so happy with the service I have received from Taylor , she was very helpful and understanding.And all the lawyers in unified treat their clients with much care unlike other law farms where I have received generic answers Unified really listen to the client and work with the client to solve the issueread more
21:06 10 Dec 20
Alex, Frances and their team are representing my family Law matter. I have found them to be extremely considerate, detail oriented and focused. When dealing with a highly emotional matter such as Family Law it is important to feel as though your Legal team has taken the time to really understand your case and has your families best interest at heart and this has been my experience of Unified Lawyers. Highly recommended.read more
06:15 03 Dec 20
We've relied on Unified Lawyers on a few occasions over the last couple of years. Each time we were thrilled with the team's professionalism, responsiveness, knowledge and reliability. Both Stan and Dominic, with whom we've dealt the most, have been fantastic. We won't be going anywhere else for our property needs!read more
07:11 12 Oct 20
When I lately needed the conveyancing for the purchase of an apartment to be done quickly, Dominic Nguyen and Fei Yang managed it exceptionally well within the necessary short time frame. I can sincerely recommend their work to anyone who needs their help for conveyancing or family matters for their understanding and great professional value. I thank them very, very much.read more
21:58 21 Sep 20
Stanley was amazing. He helped me to get my first apartment purchase and answered all questions I had in a professional and in a timely manner. It was easy to reach Stanley . I would highly recommend Stanley and Unified lawyers to anyone else seeking professional help! Thanks again Stanley!read more
17:12 17 Sep 20
If you're after a quality service by genuine people who care, these are your guys! Deama, thank you for making this process easy and helping me understand things when I didn't. You were always in such a great mood and I think we lifted each other's spirits really (positive vibes only!). You are a kind and caring soul and any of your clients are lucky to have you work on their matter. In fact, Unified Lawyers are lucky to have you on their team.read more
23:27 15 Sep 20
My family and I have been going to Unified Lawyers for different legal services for years now and we have always had a lovely experience with everyone there. They have conducted many conveyancing matters for us, assisted with business disputes and recently assisted with a family law matter. Their family lawyers in particular are very patient and understanding. I will never hesitate to recommend Unified lawyers to any family or colleagues that require legal assistance.read more
11:48 04 Sep 20
Stanley from Unified Lawyers was simply amazing. He helped us through our first home purchase and answered all questions we had professionally and in a timely manner. It was never an issue getting Stanley on the phone and he made the process seem so easy! My partner and I had a million questions given this was our first home purchase and Stanley answered every one of them diligently. He made us feel less anxious about the entire process. I would highly recommend Stanley and the team to anyone else seeking professional help! Thanks again Stanley!read more
00:18 03 Sep 20
Sometimes in our life we are faced with the need for professional legal help to make the right choices and decisions.I like others searched around and read reviews like you are now. I am so glad that my choice was Unified Lawyers to represent me with my complex matter.From the onset they listened, understood, constantly responded and provided advice to seek my instructions then actioned them accordingly very quickly throughout the whole process for an extremely successful outcome.Because of their attributed astute legal knowledge, they offer a lot of sound advice and pleasant comforting confidence during turbulent situations. They diminished all the stress in whole process, and I will be forever sincerely grateful for what Unified Lawyers have done for me.Frances Maatouk – Senior Family Lawyer, Taylor Reardon - Family Lawyer Taylor, and Deama Merhi - Property Conveyancer are three very special and caring people in their own ways that I highly recommend you contact without hesitation for your legal representation…read more
23:29 02 Sep 20
Frances was knowledgeable and professional. She responded to me very promptly. My case was resolved in a record time. Highly recommend!
01:56 25 Aug 20
Stan and Dominic have been very professional with us throughout our property purchase. Patient, always available to answer questions and responds to emails very quickly. Highly recommend.
03:53 13 Aug 20
So great to work with Dominic and his team at Unified Lawyers. The process was seamless, they responded quickly, were professional and easy to work with. Can't thank you enough Dominic!
05:50 07 Aug 20
Second time we have worked with Unified Lawyers. Fast, professional, courteous and attention to detail. Well recommended!
04:30 29 Jul 20
Very professional service , I would not hesitate to use or recommend anyone to use this company the staff are exceptional and go way beyond and above what is required and keep you totally informed with nothing being a problem .Thank you kindly much appreciated.read more
10:01 22 Jul 20
Unified Lawyers were helpful and responsive to all our questions and concerns. An extremely professional firm. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience.
02:09 27 Jun 20
Our recent roperty purchase was the hardest we been through, but with the professional and efficient service from the team at Unified lawyers we managed to go through this hard times very smoothly. Good on you guys your service was much appreciated. Thank you so much and look forward to do business with you in the future.read more
09:06 26 Jun 20
I can not even begin to explain how amazing my lawyers Frances Maatouk and Taylor Reardon are. I am so happy with everything they have dome for me during my divorce, they always had my best interests at heart. I would recommend Unified Lawyers to anyone.read more
07:05 11 Jun 20
Marianela was very knowledgeable and provided very excellent service! Provided prompt updates and guidance throughout the entire journey also very patient in listening and replying to all questions you have. A great solicitor and I highly recommend!read more
00:52 22 May 20
Marienela was excellent to deal with. Prompt and professional, and took the time to explain anything asked.Thanks!
10:35 19 May 20
Same Sex Divorce Lawyers
A same-sex marriage or de facto relationship usually involve the same issues as a heterosexual relationship but depending on the situation, may be a little more complex. It is important that you engage a same sex family lawyer that is sensitive, compassion and experienced. You need to ensure that you are comfortable with your family lawyer. This is why we offer all our clients with a free consultation.
Our free first consultation gives you the chance to bring us up to speed so we can tailor our advice to your circumstances. It also allows you an opportunity to talk to our same sex divorce lawyers so that you can determine whether you are comfortable with our firm representing you. Below are some questions that we’ve helped our same sex clients navigate.
To be granted a divorce under Australian family law, you must prove that:
You are legally married
You have been separated for at least 12 months
There is no hope of reconciliation.
If you’re unsure what counts as separation, or what evidence you’ll need, have a chat to one of our experienced same sex divorce lawyers.
What are my rights if I am not the biological parent of my child?
In a same-sex cisgender couple, one person will not be the biological parent to your child. In day to day life, this might make no difference at all. If you’re going through a divorce, legal parentage is a much bigger issue.
For example, if a lesbian couple approach a male friend to father their child, he may be considered the legal parent of that child. If you split, he might have to pay child support and would be able to apply for custody.
A gay male couple might use a surrogate to carry a child. The Family Law Act allows you to transfer parentage from the surrogate to the eventual parents. Unfortunately, the Act does not apply to overseas surrogacy arrangements. If you’ve used an overseas surrogate, you’ll need to apply to the court for a transfer of parentage.
Getting legal parentage sorted out is usually top of the priority list for same sex couples in these situations. If you are not recognised as a legal parent, you will need to apply for a parenting order through the Family Court. We have helped many same sex couples safeguard their rights to look after their children.
Am I in a same sex de facto relationship?
If you are not legally married, you may be in a de facto relationship. This is particularly common for gay and lesbian couples, who may have begun their relationship long before the 2017 amendments to the Family Law Act that recognised same-sex marriage.
Under Australian law, you have broadly the same rights in a de facto relationship as you would if you were formally married. You might be entitled to maintenance payments or a share of your ex’s property (and vice versa).
To decide whether a couple is in a de facto relationship, a court will look at:
How long the relationship has existed
Whether you have any children together
Whether you live together
Whether you have combined your finances and/or property
These factors are weighed differently depending on the overall context. There is no formula for deciding a de facto relationship. If you’re not sure, give us a call.
What property am I entitled to if I split from my same-sex partner?
If you are legally married or in a de facto relationship, the court will consider all of your assets, and your partners’ assets, in determining a property split.
That doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get half of everything. It depends on:
The length of the relationship
The assets you brought into the relationship
Your contribution to the relationship, including paid and unpaid work and child care duties.
You only have two years from separation to apply to the court for a property or maintenance order. Get in touch early so we can get the ball rolling. For more information on how we can help, click here or get in contact with us for a Free Consultation.