Married Overseas - No Wedding Certificate and Annulment?

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24 May 2014

I was married overseas (Indonesia) and have recently found out that the wife from my first marriage did not divorce me before I became married to my second wife. I understand that my second marriage is not recognised under Australian law as I was still legally married to my first wife at the time of marrying my second wife. Given that my marriage is not recognised in Australia, am I still required to apply for an annulment for the marriage to my second wife here in Aussie?

My second wife has abandoned the marriage, and has all of the papers showing that we were married. Given that I am currently experiencing financial hardship and am not in a position to return to Indonesia to obtain replacement marital papers, is there any other evidence that I could show in the courts if indeed an annulment is required.


Sunny days ahead


Well-Known Member
25 April 2014
Have a look at the Family Law Courts "Divorce" page that has helpful information, including:

I married overseas – can I get a divorce in Australia?
If you were married overseas, you can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse:
  • regard Australia as your home and intend to live indefinitely in Australia are an Australian citizen or resident, or
  • are an Australia citizen by birth or descent
  • are an Australia citizen by grant of an Australia citizenship
  • ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
You must provide the Court with a copy of your marriage certificate. If your marriage certificate is not in English, you need to file:
  • an English translation of it, and
  • an affidavit from the translator which:
  • states his or her qualifications to translate
  • attaches a copy of the marriage certificate
  • attaches the translated marriage certificate
  • states that the translation is an accurate translation of the marriage certificate, and
  • states that the attached copy of the marriage certificate is a true copy of the marriage certificate translated.
More information can be found in the Affidavit translation of marriage certificate form under the Forms section of this website.

I can’t find my spouse to serve a divorce application, what do I do?
If you have made a sole application, you need to serve the divorce application on your spouse. If you have taken all reasonable steps to serve your divorce application on your spouse and you are unable to do so, you can apply to the Court for:
  • substituted service, or
  • dispensation of service.
More information can be found in the publication Are you having trouble serving your divorce application? under the Publications section of this website.

Hope that helps.