Home > Services

Foreign Divorces

Foreign Divorce Recognition for Marriage Authorization in Canada

Authorization from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is needed in order to get married in Canada; this is usually done by obtaining a foreign divorce opinion letter. This document, which was given to you by a licensed attorney in Ontario, proves that a divorce order that was acquired outside of Canada is valid and allows for remarriage. It is necessary to demonstrate that there are no active marriages because polygamous relationships are prohibited in Canada. The validity of a foreign divorce or annulment is verified by an opinion letter, guaranteeing the ability to get married again later. Such letters may only be issued by attorneys who hold an Ontario law society license.

Recognition of Foreign Divorces in Canadian Law

Under certain guidelines specified in the Divorce Act, divorces from outside Canada are recognized. In order for a divorce to be enforceable abroad, it is necessary for both spouses to have lived in the country for a minimum of one year prior to filing for divorce, or the petitioner to have a "real and substantial connection" to the country. According to recent case law, this relationship can involve any spouse. Although resistance or coercion during the divorce procedure never renders it void, a few situations, such non-notification or notable legal distinctions from Canadian family law, may result in non-recognition.

Registering Foreign Divorces in Canada

In Canada, divorces from abroad are not required to be registered. But in order to get married again, you need to get permission. This requires completing the Marriage Licence Application, signing the Statement of Sole Responsibility, and getting a court-certified copy of the divorce judgement. Affidavits and translations are needed if the documents are not in English or French. It is also necessary to obtain legal opinion letters from attorneys confirming the legality of the divorce or annulment. Procedures for overseas annulments are similar.

Navigating Marriage Authorization

To save costs and delays, it is advised for married individuals who are married in both Canadian and foreign jurisdictions to start divorce processes in both at the same time. Before starting divorce proceedings, getting legal counsel can help to ensure that all legal criteria are met and to expedite the process.

Contact US today to understand the process better.

Need Help ?

Get Professional Help