10 Things We "Know" about Getting Married that Ain't So

 
by Jennifer Cram (26/07/2016)  | Categories: | Wedding Legals | Wedding Planning |
False-True stampOne of my all time favourite quotes comes from a long-dead American writer, Charles Farrar Browne, better known under his nom de plume, Artemus Ward.

'It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble.
It's the things we know that ain't so.'


And in wedding land there are a lot of common beliefs that just aren't true!  Here are some of them.
  1. Marrying an Australian citizen or permanent resident guarantees the same. NOT TRUE. While Testimonial about Jennifer Cram
                      Brisbane Marriage CelebrantAustralia is one of the easiest countries in the world to get married in - you don't need a special visa, any permissions (as long as you are both 18), blood tests, period of residence before the wedding, or even to alert a government department to the fact you intend to get married, and you don't have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to legally marry here, but once married you have to go through a process that assesses whether you qualify to be a resident. You can find marriage visa information on the Department of Home Affairs website, if you hope to live in Australia after your marriage.
  2. Being pregnant, or being on a visa that is about to expire will qualify you to get permission to give less than the required full calendar month notice of your intended marriage. NOT TRUE. there are ONLY five very precise grounds on which you can apply for Shortening of Time and pregnancy and expiring visas are not on that list.
  3. You have to be in Australia in order to give notice of your intended marriage. NOT TRUE. I have heard stories of couples spending thousands of dollars on air fares to make a totally unnecessary trip to lodge the Notice.  Your signatures can be witnessed overseas and you can then send the Notice to your celebrant. As long as it arrives at least a month before the wedding, it's legal.
  4. Anyone who can witness a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration can witness a Notice of Intended Marriage. NOT TRUE. There are two very short lists of people who can witness the Notice (on page 4 of the Notice). List (a) is of the people who can witness your signatures if you are signing in Australia. List (b) is of the people who can witness your signatures if you are signing outside of Australia.
  5. Justice of the Peace certified copies of ID documents, birth certificates, and divorce or death certificates are acceptable proof when getting married.  NOT TRUE. And if that is all you present you cannot be married. You must show your celebrant original documents (which means a document as issued by a relevant government authority).
  6. An overseas marriage can be registered in Australia.  NOT TRUE. While Australia recognises legal overseas marriages that also comply with Australian law, your marriage won't be registered in this country. So you need to keep your official certificate safe!
  7. Blood relatives can't be witnesses to your wedding. NOT TRUE. They can. And so can people who are friends or strangers
  8. Witnesses must be Australian citizens. NOT TRUE. Your witnesses can be anyone as long as they are at least 18 years of age and can understand what is going on. They don't have to live in Australia, either.
  9. If language is a problem, one of the marrying couple can translate during the ceremony. NOT TRUE. One of the parties to the marriage cannot translate. The interpreter must be independent.
  10. Signing the Notice of Intended Marriage is a binding consent, so it is OK to surprise one of the marrying couple when it comes to the day and place of the ceremony. NOT TRUE. The Notice of Intended Marriage is just that - notice of your intention. It is not a contract. And your celebrant has to be sure that you consent at every stage of the process, which means, no surprises for one or both of the marrying couple.