Marriage is the cultural and legal union between two people, but marriage can have varying definitions depending on the country’s culture, religion, or laws. It institutionalizes the obligations and rights of each of the couple to themselves and their future children. The marriage ceremony is called a wedding, but keep in mind that marriage does not go through an elaborate formal wedding ceremony. There are “Legals only Wedding” that is more simple and does not need many guests.
Each country has different laws that govern marriage. In Australia, marriage is regulated by the federal government; specifically, the Marriage Act of 1961 is applied throughout Australia and its external territories.
Australian Laws recognize only monogamous marriages which is the marriage of two people. Polygamous marriages, concubinage, and traditional Aboriginal wedding are not recognized.
On December 9, 2017, a landmark law was legislated that allow same-sex marriage. The Marriage Amendment on the “Definition and Religious Freedoms” Act 2017 took effect on December 9, 2017, after receiving approval from the Governor-General.
On December 15, 2017, the first same-sex marriage was held in Australia. The passing of the law is in response to a voluntary postal survey given to Australians. The results showed that 61.6% of Australians supports the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The legal age of marriage in Australia is 18 years old. Although in extraordinary situations, a 16 or 17 years old can still marry upon getting parental consent and court authorization.
What are the steps to getting married in Australia?
- Meet the eligibility requirements for marriage which are the following :
- The partners must be at least 18 years old, which is the legal age of marriage in Australia.
- If one of the partners is below 18 years old, they have to get parental consent and court approval. The law does not allow marriage if both parties are below the legal age of 18.
- Will not marry a brother or sister, which includes by adoption, parent, grandparent, grandchild and own child.
- Understand the meaning of marriage, freely agreeing and consenting to it.
- Say specific statements, specifically reciting the legal declaration in front of the celebrant and witness during the ceremony.
- Get an authorized marriage celebrant who will lead the wedding.
- Fill-up entirely and sign the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). It can be downloaded from the Attorney Generals’ website. Lodged the NOIM, at least 30 days before the wedding, to the celebrant, registrar or minister who will perform the marriage. The celebrant will ask for evidence of identity, place and date of birth. The couple can use their passport, driver’s license and birth certificate. If one or both couple were married before, they must present divorce papers of the previous marriage.
- Sign and submit the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage (DONLIM). It’s a legal declaration that both parties are of the legal age for marriage, not married to someone else, are not in a prohibited relationship and no legal impediment to the wedding.
- On the day of the wedding right after the marriage ceremony, the celebrant and the couples, two witnesses will sign three marriage certificates. The team will be given a copy of the marriage certificate after everyone signed it. Within 14 days the celebrant will be submitted to the local Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages.