Sunday, 9 August 2015

I fell in love today and want to be married by next week. Is this possible?

When channel 9’s reality TV program ‘Married at First Sight’ aired for the first time, it caused widespread outrage. Many thought the idea of arranged marriages between complete strangers controversial, particularly coupled to the purposes of entertainment.

However, the show has brought to light some interesting legal questions about marriage, such as, Are arranged marriages allowed in Australia? And can they divorce quickly if the relationship doesn’t work out? 
Lawyer and solicitor, Glenn Duker, has the answers.

In Australia, the Notice of Intended Marriage form must be completed one month before a wedding and given to an authorised celebrant to send to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages after the wedding. Therefore, bureaucracy ensures that marriages cannot take place instantly.

As for arranged marriage, this is not illegal in Australia; the law does not require a couple to know each other well, or prove that they have been in a relationship before they marry. It’s also possible for a third party to arrange for a couple to marry, as long as both parties are fully consenting. However, forced marriage is a completely different matter: a person who forces a couple into matrimony can be charged and may risk imprisonment. Though this might sound obvious, there are countries in which this is not the case!

Therefore, the law does not prevent couples from rushing into marriage, if they wish. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and consequences that come with a hasty marriage.

If the marriage fails and the couple want to apply for divorce, they can only do so after they have been separated for at least twelve months. Each time the couple reconciles, the twelve month period starts again from the beginning. Also, divorce also comes with a long list of complications, not to mention the increased costs that are due to come into effect.

If you’re looking to divorce from a former partner and need legal advice, please contact lawyer and solicitor Glenn Duker for expert and sensitive advice.

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