Liu v Wang [2020] NZFC 2867

Published 01 October 2020

Dissolution of marriage — declaration as to validity of marriage — overseas marriage — Family Proceedings Act 1980, ss 27 & 31 — N v D FC Waitakere FAM-2008-090-001403, 24 November 2008. This was an application for a declaration as to the validity of the parties' New Zealand marriage and an order dissolving the overseas marriage. The parties had been married in China and subsequently applied to register their marriage in New Zealand, both stating that they had never been married. The issue for determination was whether the New Zealand marriage should be declared invalid under s 27 of the Family Proceedings Act 1980 ("the Act"). Under s 31 of the Act, a marriage will be void ab initio if at the time of the marriage governed by New Zealand law, either party was already married. In a factually similar case a marriage had been instead declared invalid rather than void ab initio as the parties had no basis to legally marry in New Zealand while claiming that they had never been married. The Judge found the same situation applied to the parties here, and declared the marriage invalid. Judgment Date: 16 March 2020.