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Family Lawyer

Your Life. Your Terms. Our Commitment

FOREIGN DIVORCE OPINION LETTERS

If You Are Divorced in Canada

To remarry in Toronto and Ontario, following a Canadian Divorce, you must present the original or a court certified copy of your final judgment or divorce or a divorce certificate when you apply for a marriage licence.

If You Are Divorced Outside Canada

If you were divorced outside of Canada, you must obtain an authorization from the Government of Ontario, before you can be issued a marriage license. The following documents have to be submitted to the Office of the Registrar General of Ontario in order to obtain the required authorization to marry in Canada:

1. Original marriage licence application signed by both intended spouses;

2. An original or court-certified copy of your divorce judgment or certificate in English or French;

3. The Statement of Sole Responsibility for each foreign divorce, if both parties were previously divorced outside Canada

4. Legal opinion letter from an Ontario lawyer, addressed to intended spouses, explaining why the foreign divorce(s) should be recognized in Ontario.

If you divorced outside of Canada, and wish to marry in Ontario, you will need to obtain an opinion letter from an Ontario family lawyer stating that your divorce will likely be recognized in Canada under the federal Divorce Act. This “foreign divorce opinion letter” is a key document that will enable you to obtain an authorization to marry. In this letter, we will analyze the person’s unique circumstances and apply not only current legislation, but also case law. A divorce from another country is likely valid in Canada if either: (1) when you obtained your divorce you had a “real and substantial” connection to the place where you obtained the divorce; or (2) when you obtained your divorce, either you or your spouse had been ordinarily resident in the place that granted the divorce for a year beforehand. Generally speaking, if you normally lived in the place where you divorced, the chances are good that your divorce will be recognized in Canada. On the other hand, if you obtained an “express divorce” in a place that does not have residency requirements or you otherwise had nothing to do with that place, the chances are that your divorce will NOT be recognized in Canada. Divorces obtained by fraud or through coercion are also not recognized.

To start this process, please contact our foreign divorce opinion lawyer in Toronto as soon as you have determined your intended date of marriage. Once you have obtained an authorization from the Office of the Registrar General of Ontario, you will be able to apply for a marriage license. Since this process takes from three to four weeks, you will need to arrange for your foreign divorce opinion letter to be drafted at an earliest possible date.

For detailed information on foreign divorce opinion letters, please check out our blog: Foreign Divorce Opinion Letters Explanation

How We Can Help

Call us today if you require an opinion letter regarding your foreign divorce. If your matter is urgent, please let us know, and if our schedule allows, we will complete the opinion letter within one business day of the receipt of payment and all the necessary information.

 
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