Family Lawyers Sydney
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 seven 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, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Client Testimonials and Reviews
During 2021 I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Antoinette Marie Gauci from Unified Family Lawyers.
After meeting and consulting with more than one firm I choose to work with Antoinette as I navigated my separation and property settlement. From the initial appointment to final settlement I found Antoinette to be informative, supportive and fair in the advise she offered . I always felt as though my best interests were being highlighted and all of my communications were answered promptly.
Apart from offering exceptional service I also felt that UFA was very reasonably priced.
I would highly recommend working with Unified Family Lawyers.
I’m so thankful for the service provided by Unified Family Lawyers in regards to my family matter. Frances and Tania were exceptional in all areas – from being highly professional, empathetic, approachable and responsive to all my legal needs. Together they obtained the optimal outcome for me and now I have my life in order. I highly recommend.
Would highly recommend Unified Lawyers. They were highly professional and compassionate, addressing challenging issues and working to resolve them. They were always available to assist and clarified complex processes.
Alex and Donna are unparalleled professionals and experts in their fields. If you are going through a difficult divorce, it can be really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Alex and Donna have helped make this emotionally stressful time as easy as I think it can be with their down to earth and diligent communication. They take a lot of pride in their work and they are extremely talented and experienced. I genuinely feel like I am in very capable and caring hands. I can’t be any more grateful to them and the whole Unified Family Lawyers team. If you want someone on your side, you need to speak to Alex and Donna!
Navigating separation and divorce can typically be an emotionally, mentally and financially onerous undertaking.
However, engaging Unified Lawyers and entrusting my matter to the highly capable and consistently responsive team of Alex Bourne and Chris Kissoglou has certainly alleviated my stress, knowing that they were acting in my best interests with their sensible and pragmatic advice. With their skilled assistance, I was able to finalise my parenting plan and property settlement via mediation with a pleasing outcome that obviated the protracted costs of litigation.
Highly recommend Unified Lawyers and a special mention to the lawyer who assisted me with my case – Donna Nguyen. She was thoroughly professional since the day I contacted her, always on top of asking for information, filing the case on time and ensuring communication was top notch every step of the way. Most importantly very upfront around fees structure and was very informative around any hidden fees throughout the process. If every lawyer was like her, there wouldn’t ever be a single person left in doubt around laws and court procedures. She’s an absolute rockstar!
When looking for a family lawyer, a firm in the city asked for a large sum upfront to start with. With unified lawyers, upfront fee was reasonable and affordable for someone going through a difficult period in their life. I was invoiced monthly as I went, which was helpful. Taylor Reardon was my lawyer and she was very friendly and easy to communicate with. She did a great job guiding me through the process and supporting me through the asset split after separation. I highly recommend unified lawyers for family law matters.
Tania and her team have done fantastic job for my case. They take my case from my previous lawyer and get everything organised in a short notice. Thanks for their help, I am able to get my property settlement and other devorce matter solved within 2 months. I highly recommend Tania for family law matters.
I am so glad finally it came to an end!!. Thank you so much Taylor! you have advised me accordingly as to where I stand in my situation, and resolved my problem amicably. I was advised by many to how solicitors over charging their clients, unfortunately, it was not with Unified Family Lawyers. They are so reasonable in terms of charges and understand their clients well. I did the right choice by engaging the right firm.
I recommend Unified Lawyers for any Family or Domestic violence or issues; I have received excellent consultation when I called them first time in regards to an issue related to my neighbour. They first listen to issue and explained what would be potential ways to deal with the issue from lawful perspective and also send an follow up email to confirmed what was discussed. I was very worried with the particular issue but after talking to them I sensed hope and clear understanding what to do next. I give them a five star.
I cannot thank you enough for all your hard work, you have been absolutely amazing in helping me to finalise this colossal journey. Your support went above and beyond and I will continue our partnership well into the future. I highly recommend your services and can assure you have chosen the right path with Dominic.
I was supported by Unified Lawyers when I failed to appear at a family court matter. I was very pleased that they were able to get my situation undercontrol. I was informed of the procedure and also given excellent advise that resulted with us getting a balanced control back of my situation. We are only getting things started in my matter.I have every indiation and faith that that I am going to have a positive experience.
Thank you very much Alex and Marryanne your knowledge is awesome. I look forward to the case that Marryanne is going to put forward at my next hearing.
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.
How can same sex couples get a divorce?
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 a number of factors such as:
- How long you have lived together
- Whether you have any children together
- Whether you have combined your finances and/or property
- Whether you have made contributions to the other partners assets, whether this be financially or non-financially
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, in most cases, 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 and/or homemaking duties.
If you are in a de facto relationship, you only have two years from separation to apply to the court for a property or maintenance order.
If you are married you only have one year from the date of your divorce becoming effective 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where are your same sex divorce services available?
- What are the divorce requirements of same sex couples?
- What other legal services are available for same sex couples at Unified?
- How can I protect my assets in a same-sex relationship?
- What if we have children but I am not the biological parent of my child – what are my rights?
- How does same-sex and other LGBTIQ+ relationships divorce work?