From 9 December 2017, changes were made to Australian law that now allow people to be married regardless of the gender or sex of the parties. As most of us know, this means Australia has legalised same-sex marriage.
These legal changes took place through the Marriage Amendment Act 2017 which altered the Marriage Act 1971 so that the definition of marriage is now:
“the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”
There are a few key changes you should know about:
- Foreign same-sex marriages are now recognised (including previous and future)
- Overseas same-sex divorces are now recognised in Australia
- Australian same-sex married couples also have access to divorce in Australia
- Federal Circuit Court of Australia has jurisdiction to deal with divorce of same-sex marriages.
- Where couples have conceived children via IVF, and the marital partner of the woman consents to the IVF then they are recognised as the legal parent of the child. This now extends to same sex couples who are married.