The Legals – In Australia, Marriage is regulated by the Marriage Act 1961, which sets out the process for getting married and the legal requirements of a valid marriage. Here’s a basic guide to the 3 steps.

Step 1. The Notice of Intended Marriage

– This form must be lodged with me at least one month before the wedding and is valid for up to18 months.

– It asks you to show me evidence of your date and place of birth – if you were born in Australia, this is your birth certificate or an Australian passport. Certificates must be originals or a copy issued by the relevant registry – never a photocopy, whether certified or not.

– You must both be over the age of 18.

– If you were born overseas, then a birth certificate, your Australian passport or your overseas passport is acceptable (even if expired) – again, original documents not photocopies.

– If you have been married before, you need to provide evidence of the end of that marriage, either a divorce certificate or a death certificate for former spouse.

– All certificates need to be in English, otherwise you must arrange for them to be translated by a NAATI accredited translation service. I don’t keep your documents, I only need to sight them.

– if you and your partner are related to each other you must disclose the relationship.

– You each need to provide current photo ID

Step 2. In the Week Prior to the Wedding

– we need to complete a Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage which asks you the question whether there is any reason that you can think of why you would be breaking the law to be married on your nominated date. Again, the onus is on you to tell the truth, with penalties if you don’t.

Step 3. On the Day

– The ceremony must include the Monitum – a paragraph set out in the Marriage Act; we’ll need to state your full names and you’ll need to exchange legal vows – also set out in the Marriage Act. There are three certificates to be signed by yourselves, a witness each and myself. One that I keep; a decorative official Marriage Certificate which you keep and one which I forward to the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, to have your marriage officially registered. This process can take up to 10 weeks.

Once I notify you that registration is complete, I always suggest that you apply for a copy of your certificate of marriage registration, which you may well need, particularly if either of you will be changing your surname. However it is optional, so therefore not included in your fee.

Should your situation require either of you to apply for a Fiance / Spouse visa, I am experienced in providing the necessary documentation to support your application.

If by some chance your circumstances don’t match the above, the answer may be found in FAQs or please contact me for individual advice.

  So now go to Ceremony planning.

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