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Getting Married in Australia - The Legals

Getting Married in Australia - The Legals
Getting Married in Australia - The Legals

The Marriage Act of 1961 says that you must comply with these six things below in order to get married in Australia:

1. your relationship must be between a man and a woman

2. you must be 18 years of age or over
(Under rare circumstances, a person between the age of 16 and 18 can marry, provided their prospective marriage partner is 18 years or over, and the couple have been granted permission by a Court)

3. you must not be married to anyone else

4. you cannot marry a person who is your antecedent or descendant by marriage or adoption

5. you must both be capable of and give free consent to marry the other 

6. you must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form with your celebrant no earlier than 18 months and no later than 1 month before your ceremony
(A prescribed authority may authorise a marriage where a NOIM form is lodged within one month of the date of the ceremony - ask your celebrant for details)

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So, if you can say yes to all six of the Marriage Act rules, or you have been granted the necessary permissions, then you are clear to start planning with your celebrant.


Making the union legal between you and your partner can sometimes be a confusing business which is why it's a great idea to #AskaCelebrant and they will explain all the requirements to ensure your marriage is legally valid.  

You can find a TCN Celebrant in your area through the TCN website.

Your celebrant must also sight original forms of your ID and divorce/death certificates (not photocopies) before the ceremony can take place. 

Some legal things that you might not know:

It is an offence, punishable with fines and/or jail time:

* for a person to go ahead with their marriage when the haven't complied with the 6 rules stated above and for a celebrant if they knew and solomnised the marriage anyway
* for a couple or a celebrant to falsify documents, by giving false information or backdating forms and certificates

* for a person who is not an authorised celebrant to solemnise a marriage
* for an interpreter to give false information

During the ceremony

The celebrant must state that they are authorised to solemnise marriages according to the law, and recite the monitum - which literally means "warning" that informs a wedding couple of the legal expectation of the binding nature of marriage within Australia, then the couple states that they want to become legally married to each other.  

This all has to be done in front of your celebrant and 2 witnesses who are over 18.

To conclude the ceremony, you, your celebrant and your witnesses sign three certificates and then your paperwork is sent off to the BDM in the state your ceremony took place to be registered.

And that's it!  It's that simple!

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What about if I want to surprise my fiance and organise the wedding without them knowing?

I'm sorry, but this just can't happen.  
You can surprise your guests, but both people who are getting married must have full knowledge and be in agreement at least one full month before the ceremony date.

Can I marry my first cousin?

Yes, you can.

Will my name be changed after the ceremony?

No, If you choose to change your name after you are married, you can automatically take your partner's surname without doing anything.  You can officially change your name, by going into government departments - Passport Office, Department of Transport, your bank, Medicare, etc, however.... you will first need to obtain an official marriage certificate from the BDM in the state you were married in.  

The pretty certificate you get on the day is a legal document that shows you are married but is not accepted by government departments and others for changing your name.


Read More Information Here

If you have any questions relating to legally getting married in Australia, you can find one right here: Find a TCN Celebrant

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Tuesday, 23 July 2024

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