It’s the hit show that everyone is binging while being locked down for so long. MAFS Australia has certainly done its bit to reduce the Covid boredom and keep people inside, but while the show itself exerts all the glamour and drama of show business, there is plenty of legal work that goes on behind the scenes unnoticed. While everyone loves a good wedding, we all know that sadly divorces are just as regular.
Each participant will be wary of the legalities before going on the show, or at least they should be if they soon find themselves looking for a way out.
Here we take a look at those aspects of marrying at first sight, and what options are available to couples after the cameras switch off and reality hits hard.
Do the Participants Legally Marry?
The short answer is, yes. Producers of the show and Channel 4 state that a legal wedding requires a marriage license and that each couple sign one as soon as the ceremony is complete. This legally certifies the marriage until the couple should come to a point where they wish to divorce.
Unlike here in the UK, the Australian version which has recently seen season 6 air here does not show legally binding weddings. This is due to a number of legal restrictions in Australia. Instead, couples have an unofficial commitment ceremony and some, such as Jules and Cam, go on to officially marry when renewing their vows after leaving the show.
Is There a Prenup Involved?
While it may not be as detailed as some, according to reports there is most definitely a prenuptial agreement in place for all couples. A member of the team for the US version of the show stated in an interview that there is a built in prenup to the marriage that essentially states what individuals walk into the marriage with, they walk out with.
This provides everyone with basic legal protection from the offset. Then, if for whatever reason things don’t work out, there won’t be any legal trouble to deal with as a result. Once they are married however, everything afterwards is completely their responsibility.
Is the Wedding Annulled or do They Divorce?
This will depend on the exact circumstances of each couple and, most likely, whether they progressed from strangers to a sexual relationship.
You can annul a marriage in the first year of marriage or anytime after if the ceremony was not legally valid or it is voidable.
To be classified as ‘voidable’ you cannot have consummated the marriage or properly consented. Other voidable reasons include the other person having an STD when you married, your spouse was pregnant by someone else, or your spouse is in the process of transitioning to a different gender.
If you do not qualify for any of these reasons, a divorce would be the only legal option.
The key difference between these options is that , with an annulment, a court will conclude that your marriage was invalid or void from the beginning. With a divorce, a court recognises your marriage as legal but then terminates your marital status. Additionally, it will need to resolve issues of dividing marital property and debt, awarding child and spousal support, and deciding child custody in line with any prenuptial agreement.
How We Can Help
We know that however straight forward it may be, divorces of any kind can be strenuous. That’s why at Howells, we evaluate each case with compassion and experience. Find out more about our divorce solicitors and the services they offer by getting in touch today.