Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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MARRIAGE ACT 1961 - SECT 23

Grounds on which marriages are void

             (1)  A marriage that took place on or after 20 June 1977 and before the commencement of section 13 of the Marriage Amendment Act 1985 is void where:

                     (a)  either of the parties was, at the time of the marriage, lawfully married to some other person;

                     (b)  the parties are within a prohibited relationship;

                     (c)  by reason of section 48 the marriage is not a valid marriage;

                     (d)  the consent of either of the parties was not a real consent because:

                              (i)  it was obtained by duress or fraud;

                             (ii)  that party was mistaken as to the identity of the other party or as to the nature of the ceremony performed; or

                            (iii)  that party was mentally incapable of understanding the nature and effect of the marriage ceremony; or

                     (e)  either of the parties was not of marriageable age;

and not otherwise.

             (2)  Marriages of parties within a prohibited relationship are marriages:

                     (a)  between a person and an ancestor or descendant of the person; or

                     (b)  between a brother and a sister (whether of the whole blood or the half-blood).

             (3)  Any relationship specified in subsection (2) includes a relationship traced through, or to, a person who is or was an adopted child, and, for that purpose, the relationship between an adopted child and the adoptive parent, or each of the adoptive parents, of the child, shall be deemed to be or to have been the natural relationship of child and parent.

             (4)  Nothing in subsection (3) makes it lawful for a person to marry a person whom the first-mentioned person could not lawfully have married if that subsection had not been enacted.

             (5)  For the purposes of this section:

                     (a)  a person who has at any time been adopted by another person shall be deemed to remain the adopted child of that other person notwithstanding that any order by which the adoption was effected has been annulled, cancelled or discharged or that the adoption has for any other reason ceased to be effective; and

                     (b)  a person who has been adopted on more than one occasion shall be deemed to be the adopted child of each person by whom he or she has been adopted.

             (6)  For the purposes of this section:

"adopted" , in relation to a child, means adopted under the law of any place (whether in or out of Australia) relating to the adoption of children.

"ancestor" , in relation to a person, means any person from whom the first-mentioned person is descended including a parent of the first-mentioned person.



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