Relationship Between Marriage And Family Law Essay

Relationship Between Marriage And Family Law Essay

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Forced into a dress and shoved down the aisle to marry a man you have never met; it’s hard to believe this is legal. The current laws around marriage are outdated and have many grey areas. Not only are these laws outdated, but certain sections of legislation contradict each other making the laws extremely unclear and open to interpretation; a perfect example is the legislation surrounding arranged marriage in Australia, or more the lack of legislation around this topic. Currently there is no legislation specifically for arranged marriages. The only legislation remotely regarding arranges marriage is the elements of marriage stated in Marriage Act 1961 - Sect 5 (Cth). The nature of marriage and family law is constantly changing to meet the demands of society and to reflect changing social, cultural, ethical and moral values; unfortunately when it comes to arranged marriages nothing is being done. The main purpose of family law is to recognise and regulate family relationships; a family is recognised as two or more persons, one of whom is aged 15 years and over, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or defacto), adoption, step or fostering; and who are usually resident in the same household (Australian government, 2011). But how can arranged marriages be regulated if there is no legislation that recognises it?
According to the Marriage Act 1961 - Sect 5 (Cth) marriage is “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”. The four main elements of marriage are clearly stated: to be married it must be a union between a man and a woman, it must be to the exclusion of all others, must be voluntarily entered into and must be for life. Without all four of these elements a marriage...


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...s, what if that was you? Wouldn’t you want someone to stop this? There is a clear difference between forced and arranged, and it is about time the law recognised it. This large number of cases in Australia is appalling and can be reduce dramatically if action is taken. There must be a definition of arranged marriage added to the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth), this would legally make the difference between forced and arranged clear; making laws against forced marriage easier to enforce. By also enforcing that couples who have known each other less than three months must go through the consultation process and receive a signed document stating they are genuinely consenting, this will give the couples the opportunity to object without having the pressures of their families to worry about. Arranged marriages are a huge problem in our society and it is time something is done.

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