Section 5 of the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) defines marriage as “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”. Essentially, this means that marriage only applies to heterosexual couples and does not incorporate same sex couples. The other important aspect of the definition is that that for a marriage to be valid, it must be entered into voluntarily. There is a breadth of case law relating to situations where a marriage has been considered to be invalid due to the absence of the voluntariness element. Our Family Lawyers and Marriage Lawyers specialise in marriage matters and can provide expert advice.
The legal age for marriage in Australia is eighteen (18) for both males and females. However, the law does provide a process for a person who is aged sixteen (16), the right to marry. To do this, the person must apply for permission from the Court to marry. For this process to apply, the other person must be of marriageable age, that is, eighteen (18) or above. Where such an application is made, the Judge or Magistrate will hold an inquiry into the relevant facts and circumstances of the application. The Judge or Magistrate may grant permission if he or she is satisfied of the following:
- The applicant is aged at least sixteen (16) years; and
- The circumstances of the application are so exceptional and unusual as to justify that the marriage be permitted.
For this application to be made, parental consent will be required. You should note that if permission is granted by the court, you must marry within three (3) months of the permission being granted. Otherwise, the permission will lapse and you will have to reapply to the court. There are a number of penalties for underage marriage, so if you are thinking of marriage and are not the legal age for marriage, eighteen (18) or above, seek independent legal advice. Our Marriage Lawyers can assess your case and assist you in making an application if you are not yet of marriageable age however want to marry a person who is of marriageable age.
As mentioned above, marriage between same sex couples is invalid in Australia. Even if the marriage takes place outside of Australia, it will not be recognised in Australia. A same sex couple will be considered to be a de facto couple.
If you wish to make an appointment to see one of our experience Marriage Lawyers, contact us by telephone on (02) 9233 4048 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please peruse our "Locations" tab, for a complete list of our office locations.
This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.
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If you require assistance with a Family matter, you should make an appointment to see one of our Lawyers in one of the following locations:
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