Status of a potentially polygamous marriage

Section 5(1) of the Marriage Act defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntary entered into for life.

In Ghazel & Ghazel [2106] FamCAFC 31 the court dealt with this question.  The issue related to whether a potentially polygamous foreign marriage will be recognised as a valid marriage in Australia under Part VA of the Marriage Act.  The Full Court of Appeal accepted that a potentially polygamous marriage will be recognised in Australia unless it is to be determined as not valid under Australian law.

Therefore if a marriage has the potential to be polygamous but as a first marriage is not yet polygamous it will considered valid under Australian law.

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