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
Everything went amazingly well. They helped me with my divorce settlement and it couldn't have gone better. Taylor and Tania were amazing and Frances as well. Couldn't have done it without them. Highly recommended.read more
02:52 16 Jun 21
I was looking for a law firm that was enabling my partner and I to go through a fair separation and I am happy to have found Taylor. She was kind, provided good advice, was patient and was able to secure a great outcome. I am grateful and happy to recommend Taylor.read more
00:09 02 Jun 21
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!read more
02:53 28 May 21
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.read more
06:41 17 May 21
I contacted Unified Lawyers after having a very negative experience with another firm. My initial phone consultation was with Antoinette who was ever so attentive and helpful. She took the time to listen to my concerns and was very quick to follow up with any questions I had. My experience with Unified Lawyers was extremely positive and it is clear by the way I was treated that they have true professionals working in their firm. It's 5 Stars from me.read more
23:19 02 May 21
I knew I made the right decision by choosing Unified Lawyers from the day one . Frances was so helpful , very professional, supportive and fought until the end to get a great result in my matter. Both Frances and Taylor were very cooperative, they always replied to my enquirers straight away, I felt that I’m in good hands all the way . I highly recommend Unified Lawyers to anyone who has to settle family issues, as their hard work is always coming to a great result, as it happen in my case. I can’t thank you enough, Frances and Taylor, with your help , I’ll finally be able to start a life again with my sons.Regards, Ala Lo Surdoread more
07:15 15 Apr 21
Hugh Dang and the team at Unified Lawyers guided us through the purchase of a unit in Feb-Mar 2021. They were great! They are knowledgeable and negotiated through a heavily adapted contract from the vendor to our benefit. There were a number of complications as well and having Hugh's advice at our fingertips was a real plus. Hugh was also readily approachable and accessible whenever needed. Highly recommended.read more
21:00 04 Apr 21
Tania is professional and greatly helpful. She always picks up the phone and replies by email promptly. She gives professional advise in details. I really appreciate how the things has been sorted out quickly.read more
05:46 17 Mar 21
I spoke to a few other law firms before calling the team at Unified lawyers , it was very evident those firms were more about money than the distress I was experiencing at the time. I remember vividly my conversation with Donna on that Monday morning, she was calm and caring which made me feel so appreciated . I got an appointment that arvo with Alex and he was so caring and professional, it was very evident then that I found the right lawyers to represent me in my family law case. Through the entire process they kept me informed on everything. I can't thank Donna, Alex for all they have done for me during this process. I appreciate you both so much, and thanks so much for being genuine people who really care. I will always recommend Unified lawyers to anyone I know in need of great family lawyers. God bless you both richly !!read more
21:28 21 Feb 21
The team at Unified Lawyers are great. They have already taken care of a residential sale for me in Victoria and a commercial purchase on the way in Sydney. Dominic appointed one of the better suited lawyers in the team to ensure we were looked after.Nothing is difficult for them when it comes to property law! The have a thorough understanding what what exactly needs to be done and ensure everything proceeds super smooth.I highly recommend their services.Thanks Dominic & the teamread more
02:56 20 Feb 21
Tania is professional, enthusiasm and greatly helpful. She follows up constantly, replies promptly, provides professional advice with detailed explanation and give options at the same time. My case has been handled very well, the results came better than what I originally expected. Well done and thank you!read more
10:32 16 Feb 21
I had lost my marriage certificate, after 10 years living separately I was not able to apply for divorce, one of my family friend introduced me to Unified Lawyers. They could get my divorce in just a few months with unbelievable low price they got my divorce order. Having a very good experience with their friendly, approachable, understanding and hard work attitude I feel whenever I need any legal advices i can approach and asked for their help.When I am dealing with unified lawyers, I am sure I have left my issue to the professional team that their goal is getting my satisfaction as their client.Well done for your great service.read more
08:13 16 Feb 21
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.