Mcphee Lawyers


15 June 2015

Jensen v Jensen: Application Dismissed


We’ve all heard the media hype surrounding the Canberra couple, Nick and Sarah Jensen, who pledged to divorce if same sex marriage is legalised in Australia.

In essence the couple, who claim to have a perfectly intact marriage and intend to continue their relationship, have vowed (no pun intended) to divorce if same sex marriage is legalised.

Regardless of your views on the topic of same sex marriage one thing is clear – the Jensens are not eligible for divorce.

The Family Law Act 1975 at section 48 sets out the ground for divorce and provides that:-

“An Application under this Act for a divorce order in relation to a marriage shall be based on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.”

In order to evidence the separation, parties must demonstrate that they have lived separately and apart for 12 months. The Court must also be satisfied that there is no reasonable likelihood of cohabitation being resumed.

It is clear from the public statements made by the Jensens that they do not consider their union at an end nor have they been separated for 12 months. Even if they were to separate now and apply for divorce in 12 months’ time the chances that a Court would accept their evidence that they have separated is slim given their stated intentions.

If you have any questions about divorce please make an appointment with one of our solicitors.

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