What you need to know when getting Married Overseas?

If you get married overseas, your marriage is governed by the laws of the country in which you were married. However, for your marriage to be recognised as valid in Australia, it must meet certain requirements under Australian law.

Here are some key points to consider if you plan on getting married overseas:

  1. Compliance with Local Laws: Your marriage must comply with the laws of the country where the marriage took place. This includes meeting any legal requirements for the ceremony, such as obtaining the necessary licenses or permits.
  2. Recognition by Australian Law: For your overseas marriage to be recognised in Australia, it must generally adhere to Australian requirements for a valid marriage. This includes:
    • Both parties must be of marriageable age and have given real consent.
    • Neither party should be already married to someone else.
    • The marriage should not be within prohibited degrees of relationship (e.g., close blood relatives).
    • Both parties should be able to understand the nature and effect of the marriage ceremony.
  3. Documentation: You will need to have official documentation of your marriage, such as a marriage certificate, which may need to be translated into English and possibly authenticated or apostilled.
  4. Registration in Australia: While you don’t need to register your overseas marriage in Australia for it to be recognised, you may want to notify the Australian government for record-keeping purposes.

In summary, while the legal requirements for the marriage itself are governed by the country where the marriage takes place, the recognition of that marriage in Australia is subject to Australian law. If your overseas marriage meets both the local requirements and the basic criteria set by Australian law, it should be recognised in Australia.

Here are some relevant links and references to support the information regarding overseas marriages and their recognition in Australia:

  1. Marriage Act 1961 (Cth)
    • This is the primary legislation governing marriage in Australia. Section 88D of the Marriage Act 1961 deals with the recognition of overseas marriages.
    • Link to the Act: Marriage Act 1961
  2. Attorney-General’s Department – Marrying overseas
    • The Attorney-General’s Department provides information about the recognition of overseas marriages in Australia.
    • Key points include the requirement that the marriage must be valid under the law of the country where it was solemnised and must meet the criteria for recognition in Australia.
    • Link: Attorney-General’s Department – Marrying Overseas
  3. Australian Government – Smartraveller Website
    • The Smartraveller website offers practical advice for Australians getting married overseas, including the need for an overseas marriage to meet local laws and Australian recognition criteria.
    • Link: Smartraveller – Getting Married Overseas
  4. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) – Marriage Overseas
    • DFAT provides guidelines on the recognition of overseas marriages and any necessary steps for Australians planning to marry abroad.
    • Link: DFAT – Marriage Overseas

These references provide comprehensive information and legal backing for the recognition of overseas marriages in Australia, ensuring that such marriages meet both local and Australian legal requirements.