top of page

Relationship Education Services

Relationship Education Services

Sometimes planning a wedding can be stressful on a relationship, if you are feeling as though you need some help, don't hesitate to reach out to someone. 

The Attorney Generals Department requires that we make sure you have access to a document called Happily Ever Before and After. 

The link to that document is below and then some additional support info will below that as well. 

Marriage is important

Your celebrant is handing you this document because the decision to marry is

one of the biggest decisions a couple can make. Marriage is a significant step

which will bring a number of changes for you, your spouse and your family.

This document tells you:

• the process of getting married in Australia,

• some important legal consequences of getting married, and

• where relationship support services, such as marriage education, family

counselling or dispute resolution services may be obtained.

Getting Married in Australia

In Australia, marriage is regulated by the Marriage Act 1961, which sets out the

process for getting married and the legal requirements of a valid marriage.

A completed Notice of Intended Marriage form

must be given to your celebrant at least one month

(and up to 18 months) before the wedding.

You and your partner must provide your celebrant with

evidence of your date and place of birth, identity and the

end of any previous marriages.

You must both sign the ‘Declaration of no legal impediment

to marriage’. By signing the Declaration, you declare that you

believe that you are of marriageable age, and that there is no

legal impediment to your marriage.

On your wedding day, your celebrant will solemnise your

marriage. Your celebrant will then ask you, your partner and

your witnesses to sign up to three marriage certificates.

After your wedding, your marriage celebrant will register

the marriage with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

in the State or Territory where your marriage took place.

Marriage in Australia:

Some important things you need to know

Health and welfare benefits

If you receive health or welfare benefits, you will need to contact the relevant

agencies to advise them that you have married. These agencies will advise you

if your benefits will change. You may lose benefits and even be penalised if you

fail to tell them you have married within a reasonable time after the wedding.

Changing your name

Any person who marries may choose to take their spouse’s surname. You are

not legally required to take your spouse’s surname once you are married.

If you wish to take your spouse’s surname, you must obtain a certificate

of marriage issued by your state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths

and Marriages. This is usually sufficient evidence to have your personal

documentation (eg. driver’s licence) changed to your married surname.

The certificate you received on your wedding day is ceremonial and will

not meet the identity requirements of many government agencies, such as

the passport office.


If you marry an Australian citizen, you do not have an automatic right to

Australian citizenship. You will still need to apply for citizenship and satisfy

the eligibility criteria. You can obtain further information from the

Department of Home Affairs website at

Making a will

Marriage will invalidate any previous wills unless your will clearly shows you

were planning this marriage when you made it.

It is important that you make a new will when your personal circumstances

change. This ensures that you have a valid will that gives effect to your

intentions about how you want your assets to be distributed in the event of your

death. A solicitor can help you make or change a will.

Taxation after marriage

When you marry, the amount of taxation you pay may change. It is advisable

to contact the Australian Taxation Office, a tax agent or an accountant before

marriage to discuss any tax implications.

Strengthening your marriage

Before marriage: Marriage Education

Solid relationships set you up to meet the changes and challenges of life. It is

important to develop good communication and sound relationship skills early,

so that you can fall back on these skills during difficult times.

Pre-marriage education prepares couples for marriage by providing skills and

information to build lifelong marriages. Courses are also available to explore

the added dimension and complexity brought to a marriage by children from a

previous relationship.

During marriage: Family Counselling

Keeping relationships on track is not always easy. Relationship problems

can arise at various stages of our lives. While having a shaky moment does

not mean your relationship is in trouble, it may be a sign that you could

do with some help.

Family counselling can help couples come to terms with the many changes

that happen during a marriage, such as the personal and interpersonal issues

to do with children and family. Family counsellors can help you work through

emotional problems with your spouse or partner, or to reach agreement about

your parental responsibilities.

Marriage breakdown: Family Dispute Resolution

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) can help separating couples to reach

agreement about property, money, and—most importantly—any children.

The law requires separating families who have a parenting dispute to make a

genuine effort to try to sort it out through FDR.

An accredited FDR Practitioner can help you discuss issues, look at options,

and reach agreement. Importantly, FDR can help you to develop a parenting

plan to set out arrangements for any children.

For more information about the services and

advice available for couples and families, visit the

Family Relationships Online website at or phone the

Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321

bottom of page