Crucial Facts About The Crime Of Bigamy

Posted on

If you were to do some research into marriage customs and laws around the world, you will discover that there are several where being married to more than one person is perfectly legal, and indeed, part of the tradition of that country, culture, or religion. Known, as polygamy or bigamy, under our criminal law, this practice is not legal in Australia and is a criminal offence under the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017.

This Act changed the definition of bigamy laws to refer to the marriage of two people, whereas the previous law referred to a man and a woman. The 2017 Act altered the definition to include marriages between two people of the same sex which became legal in Australia as part of the same legislation.

Declaration Before Marriage

Before someone gets married they must complete a declaration that there is no legal impediment to the marriage taking place. Upon signing this declaration the individual is agreeing to the following:

  • They are not already married to someone else
  • Their relationship is not prohibited
  • They and the person they are marrying are the legal age to be married
  • The person they are marrying is not a close relative (child, adopted child, grandchild, sibling, parent, grandparent)
  • There are no other legal impediments to the marriage


Read More