Sophie had a bunch of questions to ask about a couple of US citizens she’s marrying here in Australia. I separated them out and answered them one by one; hopefully you’ll find something in there that’s useful for you!

They have both been married previously, and multiple times – for their NOIM am I right telling them that for the bottom of the first page they state what year each Ceremony happened, how it ended and the date of the dissolution – that’s information they give without me needing to see proof.

On page 3 of the NOIM you need to list the following for each party:

  • number of previous marriages)
  • year of EACH previous marriage ceremony (if known, give date)
  • number of children of all the previous marriages added together, and years of birth of each of those children
  • only how the LAST marriage ended, and the date of dissolution of the LAST marriage. That’s because whoever married them the last time will have listed how and when the marriage before that one ended, and so forth.

Then for the next page the evidence I need to see – is it ONLY the most recent divorce documentation or all?

Yes, only evidence of how the LAST marriage ended is required; the celebrant before you will have seen the proof of the end of the marriage before that, and so on. Check the date of dissolution they’ve listed on page 3 against this proof they’ve given you.

And being that they went through the courts in the US (the paperwork looks different to ours) do I write ‘Texas, 27472910’ for eg. – do I need to do anything different being US documents?

Nothing different for US documents, you just need to list the court location where the divorce was granted, usually a city if it’s listed. No need to list the number of the divorce document. Just make sure it says something like “the marriage was terminated” or “dissolved” or similar on whatever date.

For name changing – they take their official MC to service NSW etc for changing licenses, passports etc here in Australia

To change their name in Australia, they just take their BDM certificate to everywhere that has their name on file and say hey, I want you to call me by another name now, and here’s my marriage certificate to prove I’m allowed to use that new name. They don’t need to go through a legal change of name process through BDM. They’ll change their licence through Service NSW, their Australian passport (if they have one) through the Australian Passport Office (usually via the post office), and all their other documents through whichever organisation issued that document (bank, Medicare, etc).

They asked me what about in the states, when they travel there next year do they just produce that MC to the various places in the same way?

This is the one I can’t answer. We can’t give advice about the requirements for changing names in another country, because we simply don’t know, and it would be irresponsible of us to give them advice that could be incorrect. They’ll need to contact organisations that issue any US documentation they have and ask them what the process is for changing names with an Australian marriage certificate. That’s for them to do, not for you!