Basic Conditions for Australian Marriage

To to be married in Australia, the same legal conditions apply, whether the marriage is to be conducted by a civil or religious celebrant.  You can Find your celebrant here

All legal marriages in Australia are conducted in accordance with the Marriage Act 1961 and the Marriage Regulations. 

These conditions are:

  • the couple must be two people

  • need to be adults, having attained the age of 18 years – the only exception being where one of the parties may be between the ages of 16 years and 18 years and court approval for the marriage has been granted (conditions apply)

    Note: No one in Australia can be legally married under the age of 16 years.

  • both parties to the marriage need to give a free and informed consent to be married

    ie must be mentally competent enough to understand the nature of marriage
    or must not be bribed, coerced (threatened) or pressured into the marriage against the individual’s wishes.

  • not married to any other person. If one or both of the parties have been married previously, then proof of the end of the marriage must be provided (death papers, divorce papers etc.)

  • the marriage celebrant must be authorised under the Marriage Act 1961 to conduct the legal marriage. 
  • the couple must give a minimum of a month’s legal notice, on a Notice of Intended Marriage Form approved by the Attorney-General of Australia

    the only exemption is where A Shortening of Time has been approved by a Prescribed Authority under the Marriage Act 1961 for one of the current 5 reasons prescribed in the Act.

  • the marriage celebrant must ensure the couple:

    • is given or given access to a copy of the Australian government's publication Happily Ever Before and After.

      and that the couple sign:

    • the Notice of Intended Marriage form
    • a “No impediment to marriage” declaration form prior to the Marriage
    • a Marriage Certificate that the couple retain after the ceremony
    • two copies of the Marriage Certificate, one to be sent to the relevant Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages to register the marriage, and
    • one held for 6 years as the Celebrant's copy.

Civil Celebrants from The Celebrants Network are fully trained in the legal requirements for marriage.  Find your local celebrant here
Last modified on Tuesday, 28 July 2020 18:07
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