Legal Requirements for Marriage in Australia
Anyone who is eligible* to marry may do so in Australia.
* To be eligible to marry in Australia you must be over the age of 18, not already lawfully married or in a prohibited relationship (this mean you cannot be too closely related to each other). Same sex marriage is not legal in Australia.
A Notice of Intended Marriage (NIM) must be lodged with your Marriage Celebrant no less than one month and one day and no more than eighteen months prior to the marriage being solemnised. Under normal circumstances the Notice of Intended Marriage would be completed at our first meeting with and most certainly before the marriage can be solemnised and within the above requirements. You can download the NIM from the following link: Notice of Intended Marriage.
Documents required when lodging a Notice of Intended Marriage:
- Original Birth Certificate. If you were born in Australia, this is the only document accepted. If you have lost your birth certificate, you can apply for a new one to be issued from the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages in the State where you were born.
- A foreign (NOT Australian) passport is acceptable if you were born overseas and your birth certificate is not available. You can still use your foreign passport if it has expired, but not if it was cancelled.
- If you do not have an overseas passport and your birth certificate has been lost or destroyed and you cannot obtain a new one, you may fill in a Statutory Declaration. I can assist you in completing a Statutory Declaration.
- Divorce or Death Certificate if a previous marriage ended in divorce or death.
Please note: All documents in a foreign language must be translated into English by an approved translator.
Both a Court Order and parents’ consent are required when one party is under 18 years of age. By law, under no circumstances may two people under the age of 18 marry each other.
Two people over the age of 18 are required to witness your marriage and sign the Marriage Register and Certificates
Prior to your wedding both partners will be required to sign a declaration, under the Marriage Act 1961, stating that you believe there is no legal impediment to the marriage between yourself and your partner. This is a legal document and under Section 11 of the Statutory Declaration Act 1959 it is an offence to make false statement and is punishable by imprisonment for a term of four years.
Overseas Visitors Wishing to Marry in Australia
Regardless of nationality, you are more than welcome to be married in the most beautiful country in the world, Australia!
The marriage must comply with the Marriage Act 1961 as previously described above. There is no apparent reason why your marriage in Australia cannot be recognised within your own country, however it is advisable to talk to your own local authorities to confirm this before making arrangements.
It is important to remember that there can only be one legal marriage, any further ceremonies have to be Marriage Re-Affirmation Ceremonies.
I would be very pleased to assist you in arranging your special day in our special country. With the modern means of communications today, this process is very simple and can be done from a distance.