This entry is part 14 of 20 in the series Marriage Legalities
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Usual occupation on the NOIM

By Published On: February 11, 2022Categories: Marriage Legalities
This entry is part 14 of 20 in the series Marriage Legalities

Item 5 on the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) asks parties to the marriage to list their Usual occupation. What does this actually mean?

It is not necessarily the job you are doing now

The key word here is “usual”. You might be on parental leave, so not currently working. You might be unemployed for a period due to illness. Neither of those are your usual occupation.

It is not your job title

Lots of people have really fancy, sometimes ridiculous, job titles, such as those found in this ResumeCoach article:

  • Happiness Hero
  • Word Wizard
  • Fashion Evangelist
  • Galactic Travel Agent
  • Digital Prophet
  • Chief Troublemaker
  • Mother Repairer
  • King/Queen of Rigour
  • Digital Overlord
  • Dream Alchemist

Often those job titles don’t simply or adequately explain what the person actually does. They’re not occupation labels. They’re job titles designed to make the job ads stand out in the market.

I know that when the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) receives marriage documentation for registration with a job title in this field, they change it to an occupation. This field doesn’t appear on the Registry-issued marriage certificate, so the couple has no idea this change has occurred.

One Adelaide celebrant I know tried to push this field to the Nth degree. Her groom was a security guard at the Planetarium so they put Guardian of the Galaxy in this field. The bride was a psychologist so they put Keeper of Secrets. BDM in South Australia rejected the documentation and contacted the celebrant for the actual occupations.

So what is your usual occupation?

Usual

Your usual anything is the thing you usually do. So your usual occupation is the occupation you usually do, not what you’re doing right now. In the situations I listed above, where you are on leave from their usual occupation for a variety of reasons, you don’t need to list those reasons on the NOIM. You should list the occupations you’re on leave from and hope to return to.

Occupation

Your occupation is the generic description of the job you usually do.

The example I was given by a Victorian BDM representative was that her job title was Director of Operations, but her occupation was Public Servant. It could also have been something like Accountant, depending on her qualifications and other work history. This is a generic description rather than a specific job title that doesn’t necessarily tell us what you do.

For the list of job titles I listed above, here are the occupations:

  • Happiness Hero: customer service officer
  • Word Wizard: writer
  • Fashion Evangelist: fashion editor
  • Galactic Travel Agent: travel agent
  • Digital Prophet: business development manager
  • Chief Troublemaker: chief executive officer
  • Mother Repairer: record technician
  • King/Queen of Rigour: PR account director
  • Digital Overlord: website manager
  • Dream Alchemist: account manager

Usual occupations: generic descriptions that actually explain what the person usually does.

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 readingsBecause She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her wedding reading
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Series Navigation<< Description of parties and gender on the NOIMUsual place of residence on the NOIM >>