Calculating the one month notice
When completing a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM), there are a few things to remember in terms of calculating dates. Working this out correctly seems to be tricky for some … but it’s easy when you know how.
Usually, in order to marry in Australia, couples must provide a minimum of one month’s notice before they are able to “tie the knot”. This is, for the most part, calculated by the date in the month in which they lodged their NOIM with their chosen celebrant, not on the number of days (28, 29, 30 or 31) in any particular month.
The only exception to this is where what’s called a “Shortening of Time” is granted. You’ll find further info on obtaining a “Shortening of Time” by referring to my earlier blog post on this topic.
So if, for example, a couple lodge their NOIM on 30.6.22, the one month notice period will end on 29.7.22, leaving them free to marry on 30.7.22 and up to 18 months after that date.
If, however, they lodge their NOIM on a day in the month with no corresponding day in the following month, the first day they will be able to marry is the first day in the month after the following month. An example of this would be if they were to lodge their NOIM on 31.8.22. Given that the one month period will end on 30.9.22 and there is no 31.9.22, the first day they will be able to marry is 1.10.22. Similarly, if they were to lodge their NOIM on 29.1.23, 30.1.23 or 31.1.23, as 2023 is not a leap year and there is no 29.2.23, 30.2.23 or 31.2.23, the first day they will be able to marry is 1.3.23.
Calculating the 18 months
When calculating how long the NOIM will remain active, it is important to remember that the 18 month period starts on the day the couple lodge their NOIM (either by hand or electronically) with their celebrant and ends on a date exactly 18 months hence. Just as in the above examples, the end date will always be one day short of the start date number.
An example of this would be if a couple lodge their NOIM on 30.6.22. The 18 month period will start on 30.6.22 and will end on 29.12.23.
If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. If a week starts on Monday, it will end on Sunday (not the following Monday when a new week begins.) If a year starts on 1.1.22, it will end on 31.12.22 (not 1.1.23 when a new year begins.) Naturally, there cannot be two Januarys in the same year. So it is when working out the 18 month period. If the start date is 30.6.22, a 12 month period would end on 29.6.23 and a further 6 month period (totalling the 18 month notice period) will end on 29.12.23.
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The reason these calculations are important is that the Marriage Act 1961 lays down the minimum and maximum timeframe in which a NOIM remains active. A couple and, indeed, a marriage celebrant would be acting illegally and subject to penalty if they were to marry even one day less than the required one month’s notice or one day more than the maximum 18 month period allowed.
Yes, calculating dates sounds a bit complicated but it does make sense. If you need any further clarification on this or any other topic related to celebrancy, please feel free to ask! You’ll find all my contact details here:
091 ~ © Lindy Cooke Celebrant