This entry is part 16 of 20 in the series Marriage Legalities
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Conjugal status on the NOIM

By Published On: April 11, 2022Categories: Marriage Legalities
This entry is part 16 of 20 in the series Marriage Legalities

Item 7 of the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) asks you to tick the appropriate box for your Conjugal status. But what on earth does that actually mean?

Conjugal status = marital status

The word ‘conjugal’ makes me think of prison conjugal visits. That’s not what it means on the marriage documents 🙂

The instructions on page 2 of the NOIM tell us:

The term ‘conjugal status’ means whether you have ever been legally married before. You should not include information about relationships other than married relationships. If your status is ‘divorce pending’, the divorce must take effect before the marriage can be solemnised.

So it really means marital status. Honestly I wish the form asked for Marital status rather than Conjugal status but here we are.

Options

The options for this item are:

  • Never validly married: this means you have never been validly married. This includes if you have previously been married but your marriage was deemed invalid by a court of law because it shouldn’t have been performed at all
  • Widowed: this means your former spouse died while you were still married to them (you’ll need to show your celebrant their death certificate)
  • Divorced: this means you and your former spouse got divorced (you’ll need to show your celebrant your divorce certificate)
  • Divorce pending: this means you’ve applied for a divorce from your former spouse but it hasn’t been granted yet. You can’t get married until it has been granted.

Fun fact: On older versions of the NOIM this item didn’t have tickboxes. We had to write out the conjugal status in full. It was very annoying. Plus we were supposed to write Widow or Widower; who knows which one is which???

Other marriage documents

Your conjugal status carries over to the other marriage documents, unless you selected Divorce pending on the NOIM. If so, you can’t get married (and sign the other marriage documents) until you’re divorced. The conjugal status on them will reflect your updated status as Divorced.

Legal, not religious, conjugal status

Any religious conjugal/marital status is not relevant to the marriage documents. Say for example you got married in the Catholic Church and the Church annulled your marriage. You’re still validly married in the eyes of the law unless and until you get divorced, have your marriage annulled by a court of law, or your former spouse dies.

That’s really all you need to know about conjugal status on the NOIM! Just make sure you’re honest about which box you tick and you’ll be fine!

More information

Click here for a full overview of the legal requirements of marriage in Australia.

Click on this link to find all the posts in my series about marriage legalities.

If you’re a celebrant wanting help with marriage legalities, come and join us at the Celebrant Institute!

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awesome wedding readingsWhy Marriage wedding reading
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Series Navigation<< Usual place of residence on the NOIMDate and place of birth on the NOIM >>