Joint partnership was an imaginary marriage
- Harriet Alexander
- March 22, 2009
Illustration: Cathy Wilcox
A MAN so muddled by years of marijuana dependency believed he was married to his former flatmate for nearly a decade - a mistake that threatened to derail his wedding to a new partner.
The man, 38, planned to marry this month but was unable to find the papers to prove to the marriage celebrant he was not still married to his previous partner, which she required because he had listed his marital status as "divorced".
The births, deaths and marriages registry was placed on notice that a marriage might have occurred and the celebrant needed to provide proof of his single status before she could perform the ceremony.
Enter the Family Law Court in Sydney. It heard that the man and his flatmate met through their mothers and lived together for 10 years from 1994. Their relationship was not sexual and was based largely on convenience, mutual support and friendship.
The man could not remember a wedding ceremony taking place but always believed they had been married. He told the court the details must have slipped his mind because he was stoned at the time. Indeed he had no "meaningful recollection" of significant portions of the relationship.
The pair fought a lot and in 2003 the flatmate gave him a document to sign, which he believed was their divorce papers.
It was not until he contacted his former flatmate for proof of their divorce that she told him it was a residential tenancy agreement.
The man and his new bride are now free to be married.
THIS WAS FROM THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD TODAY.