| Wedding Legals |
One of the questions I'm often
asked is whether a marriage registered in Australia
will be recognised overseas. Generally speaking, legal
marriages solemnised in Australia are recognised world
that's not the whole story.
As is the case in Australia, your marriage will be
recognised if it complies with the law in the
particular country. So, recognition by other countries
of marriages solemnised in Australia may well depend
on who they prohibit you from marrying.
Australian law is very liberal as to who you can
marry, as detailed in this diagram.
There is a widespread belief that first cousins are
forbidden to marry. Historically, for a period, that
was true. And in many countries and in various states
of the US, it is still true. In fact, in some US
states marrying your first cousin is a criminal
offence, in some states infertility is a pre-requisite
for legal marriage between cousins, and in some other
states, a marriage of first cousins entered elsewhere
Other things to check are legal minimum age for
marriage in the country you wish to recognise your
marriage. In Australia you both have to be at least 18
to marry, though, with court permission, one of you
can be 16 or 17. Most countries allow legal marriage
at 18, so marrying in Australia when 18 or older
should not cause you problems on grounds of age at
marriage in those. However, there are some countries,
and some provinces of Canada, for example, where the
legal age for marriage without parental or court
permission is 19 or older (20, 21, and even 22 not
being uncommon). And many where no exceptions to the
legal minimum age of 18 are allowed. So best to check
if you are young.
If you are a same-sex couple, you should check whether
a same-sex marriage is recognised by the country you
are interested in.
Another thing to check is whether you need to register
your Australian marriage with the embassy of the
particular country you are interested in. You may well
need an Apostille (obtainable from the Australian
Passport Office) to certify that your marriage
certificate is a legal government document.