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Lawyer Offers Help To Couple Set To Divorce After SSM Result

Nick and Sarah Jensen made a bold pledge back in 2015, that if same-sex marriage was passed in Australia, they would divorce.

Two years later, people are calling for them to be true to their word - and surprise, surprise - they’re looking for a way out.

The religious couple from Canberra has been offered the help of Sydney family law firm, Tiyce & Lawyers, pro bono, because "quite simply, they’re going to need it."

"My wife and I just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary but later this year we may be getting a divorce," Mr Jensen pledged in 2015 in the Canberra City News.

"My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognise the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnisation of same-sex couples.”

"After our divorce, we’ll continue to live together, hopefully for another 50 years. And, God willing, we’ll have more children. We’ll also continue to refer to each other as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ and consider ourselves married by the Church and before God."

Mr Tiyce said he was only too happy to step in and assist the couple.

"I see it as a call for help, hence my offer," he said.

"My firm does quite a bit of pro bono work in family law each year in the gay, lesbian and trans community, I thought offering assistance to Nick and Sarah would be an excellent way of reaching out across communities with my family law expertise, because quite simply they are going to need it."

The problem is that divorce is only acceptable under certain conditions, and given the media publicity surrounding the couple, being granted the divorce is most probably going to be an issue.

"The Family Law Act [states] the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. That means that there is no reasonable chance that the parties will resume their marital relationship."

He also said a couple needs to be separated for a continuous period of 12 months before filing for divorce.

"As I understand, the position taken by Nick and Sarah [is that] they intend to divorce, but still remain together and have more children. That makes things a bit tricky as they will be unable to establish the consortium vitae has ended," he said.

"Continuing to present as husband and wife to the world would, in my opinion, make it impossible for them to establish that their relationship was at an end."

"This is a situation known as ‘wedlock’ which is mostly experienced currently by gay couples who married overseas but cannot always divorce upon separation in Australia because their marriage post-2004 is not recognised here."

Mr Jensen declined to tell news.com.au anything about how the divorce plans were progressing but, earlier this week, told the Mail Online “we just need to see the legislation and if it all goes that way.”

Source: news.com.au

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