Getting Married - SECCA National Sexuality and Your Rights

Getting Married

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In Australia it is common for people to get married if they:

Getting married is a choice. You do not have to marry someone.

You can be in a relationship without getting married.

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Different individuals, families, cultures, and religions have their own views about marriage, who you can marry and when.

People are allowed to have different views and opinions:


If having different opinions is worrying or upsetting you, speak to someone you trust for help.

Marriage can mean you live together, share your money, share jobs around the home, and spend a lot of time together.


The law says:

If you are under 18 years of age

If you are under 18 but over 16 years of age you need to apply to a court to get married.

The court will decide if you can get married.

over 16
under 16

Not everybody wants to get married.

Just because you have been dating someone for a while does not mean that you have to get married.

De Facto Relationship or Domestic Partnership

A de facto relationship may also be called a domestic partnership or a domestic relationship. In a de facto relationship you can live with someone and share your life without getting married. You can choose to have a de facto relationship. You have mostly the same as a married person when you are in a de facto relationship.


Separation and Divorce

Sometimes relationships do not work out. It is your choice, or your partner’s choice to end a relationship. Separation is when one or both of you decide to stop being a couple. The legal process for ending a marriage is called divorce.

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If you have children together you will need to work out how the children will be looked after if you separate or divorce.

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Page last updated: January 30, 2024