Getting married in Australia: Marriage Certificate – Just a piece of paper?

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Harpal Singh
Authorised Marriage Celebrant
NAATI Professional Translator
Member of AUSIT and AFCC
Ph: 0425 853 086

Contrary to this popular opinion, getting married is not simply ‘getting a piece of paper’. Marriage is a legal contract between two people which the Australian Government defines as “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, entered into voluntarily for life”.

As a consequence, marriage partners are financially, socially and emotionally responsible for each other and any children of their relationship. A body of principles based upon this understanding, underpins an array of arrangements to do with things such as taxation, banking, insurance, wills, social security and laws on property settlement, custody of children, maintenance, inheritance.

Marriage changes kinship relationships. A married couple working together can often provide for each other, and their family, a higher standard of living and quality of life than they may have achieved alone.

So the time, energy and quality of care they put into the relationship and into common resources is huge. It is done willingly in the expectation is that this relationship will continue to be a source of common benefit for life.

It is because marriage is one of the most important contracts one will sign in one’s life that the Australian Government requires the equivalent of a 30 day ‘cooling off’ period. This is known as the Notice of Intended Marriage.

This is to ensure that anyone entering marriage, no matter how closely they have lived, or are living together, gives due consideration to the seriousness of the commitment they are about to make.

If you have further questions about this issue you can contact me on 0425 853 086