The Changing Family Landscape

It’s only a matter of time before same sex marriage is a reality in Australia with proposition 8 and DOMA being disregarded in America


Proposition 8 was a Californian ballot proposition headed by defenders of opposite sex marriage. This proposition in addition to the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defended marriage being limited to a man and a woman were overruled in court today for the state of California. This means that same-sex couples will be able to get legally married within the year, in the state of California, and although there is still a long way to go this is a small but significant step when it comes to American national and eventually global recognition of same sex marriage. Here at DA Family Lawyers we are interested in how this eventual global change is going to affect the dynamic of family law in Australia.

How soon will same sex marriage be legal in Australia?

While it’s impossible to give a definitive answer on this subject, with Kevin Rudd’s changed views now supporting same sex marriage and his expected vote of confidence as Prime Minister same sex marriage may be closer than we think. Australia is also under increasing pressure, with same sex marriage becoming legal in New Zealand – active from the 19th of August 2013.

Will liberty and equality affect Australian family life?

The short answer is not truly for people in opposite sex marriages. The changes will mainly be in court legislation, as at the moment a marriage is declared null and void if the marriage was performed in Australia and the two parties are of the same sex (this includes de facto relationships). Once same sex marriage does become legal, the rules of null and void marriages and de facto relationships will be part of the constitutional rights for both relationship dynamics. Statistically, we may also see divorce statistics rise simply because more marriages means a higher chance of divorce.

Other gender specific issues are being tended to in Australian court

Gender alterations are making rulings in court more and more complex in terms of marriage and legal rights. When it comes down to procedures that change the sex of an individual from a male to a female or vice versa court decisions can become extremely complicated. In the event of marriage it is usually deemed that whatever sex the person was at the time of marriage is what constituted a legal marriage, for example if you received a sex-change operation after you were born changing you from a male to a female, and you then proceeded to marry a male partner the marriage would most likely be considered legal. However if you received a sex change after the marriage, turning your marriage into a same sex relationship it would still be legal due to the conditions during marriage.

DA Family Lawyers can help with marriage related legal issues

Here at our Brisbane law firm we specialise in Family Law which includes marriage, divorce, domestic violence and child safety. If you are having difficulties due to marriage rights or divorce please visit our helpful team of professional lawyers for knowledgeable support and legal representation. It’s important to remember that no matter what the future holds, it is still a good idea to engage in a prenuptial agreement which can be drawn up for you here at DA Family Lawyers.

To enquire about our marriage or divorce services please visit our Brisbane law firm or contact us here.

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