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Lawyer offers free divorce to couple who vowed to split if same-sex marriage was legalised

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A lawyer has offered to help a couple with their divorce free of charge after they vowed to split if same-sex marriage was legislated in Australia.

In a piece written for Canberra City News in 2015, Nick Jensen said he and his wife Sarah would dissolve their marriage, but remain in a relationship, "as a matter of conscience."

On Wednesday, the ABS announced 62 per cent of Australians had voted 'yes' in the postal survey, with the strongest vote was coming out of the Jenson's state, the ACT.

Michael Tiyce, from Sydney family law firm Tiyce & Lawyers, has now offered to take up the couple's case pro-bono to help them get a divorce, news.com.au reported.

“My firm does quite a bit of pro bono work in family law each year in the gay, lesbian and trans community, Mr Tiyce said.

, Nick Jensen said he and his wife Sarah would dissolve their marriage, but remain in a relationship, if same-sex marriage was legislated in Australia. Photo: Facebook
, Nick Jensen said he and his wife Sarah would dissolve their marriage, but remain in a relationship, if same-sex marriage was legislated in Australia. Photo: Facebook

"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."

Mr Jensen said he and Sarah would continue to live together after legally ending their marriage, believing it is a “fundamental order of creation.”

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But Mr Tiyce said the couple's divorce will be a challenge as the Family Law Act states they must be irreconcilable.

“As I understand the position taken by Nick and Sarah, they intend to divorce, but still remain together and have more children. That makes things a bit tricky," he said.

The Jensen's have remained silent since Wednesday's 'yes' vote
The Jensen's have remained silent since Wednesday's 'yes' vote

“The application may be doomed to failure but it is worth giving it a burl.”

The Jensen's have remained silent since Wednesday's 'yes' vote announcement.

Michael Tiyce, from Sydney family law firm Tiyce & Lawyers, has now offered to take up the couple's case pro-bono. Photo: Tiyce & Lawyers
Michael Tiyce, from Sydney family law firm Tiyce & Lawyers, has now offered to take up the couple's case pro-bono. Photo: Tiyce & Lawyers

In the 2015 article, Mr Jenson said the pair would refuse to recognise the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition included same-sex couples.

“Marriage is the union of a man and a woman before a community in the sight of God. And the marriage of any couple is important to God regardless of whether that couple recognises God’s involvement or authority in it,” he writes.

Mr Jensen was referred to in the article as director of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute and has previously been employed by the Australian Christian Lobby.

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