Toronto family law lawyers: foreign divorces and getting an Ontario marriage license…

Michael CarabashPlease note that the information provided herein is not legal advice and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. If you need legal advice with respect to getting an Ontario marriage license, you should seek professional assistance (e.g. make a post on Dynamic Legal Forms). We have Toronto, Ottawa, Brampton, Barrie, Hamilton, and other Ontario family law lawyers registered on Dynamic Legal Forms who can offer information, advice and assistance with respect to helping you get an Ontario marriage license.

So lets say you got a divorce outside of Canada. Perhaps in the U.K., the Middle East, or East Asia, etc. You’re now living in Ontario and you want to re-marry. What’s the process of doing so?

Well, s. 8(3) of the Ontario Marriage Act says that, in these situations, you will generally need an authorization in writing from the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services in order to get a new license. Here’s what that section says: “…no issuer shall issue a licence to a person whose previous marriage has been dissolved or annulled elsewhere than in Canada, unless the authorization in writing of the Minister is obtained upon the deposit of such material as the Minister may require.”

If an issuer refuses to issue a license or the Ministry refuses to issue an authorization, then you can make an application to the Ontario Divisional Court for judicial review. Here, you’ll ask for an order directing that a license be issued, which the court may provide if you are entitled to it: s. 8(4).

So what does the Ministry require in order to issue an authorization?

  1. A marriage license application completed and signed by both applicants.
  2. A statement of sole responsibility for each foreign divorce completed by both applicants.
  3. The original decree of divorce or annulment certificate. Alternatively, you can provide a copy of the decree of the divorce or annulment certificate if it is sealed or certified by the administrative officer of the court in the jurisdiction which granted it. Note: if this document is not in English or French, you will need to submit a certified translation and this cannot be done by one of the applicants!
  4. A legal opinion from an Ontario lawyer that is addressed to both applicants and which gives reasons as to why the divorce would be recognized as valid in Ontario. Reasons should be specific to the applicants. Such reasons could include: the applicant was ordinarily resident in the jurisdiction which granted the divorce at the time it was granted, there was no evidence of fraud, procedural irregularity or of the denial of natural justice in the granting of the divorce, the court granting the divorce had the jurisdiction to do so according to its own laws, etc.

All of these things must be forwarded to:

Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 4600
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario
P7B 6L8

Attention: Marriage Office

Once processed, you can receive back all of your documentation (be sure to include a self-addressed and stamped envelope to ensure this happens). It may take a number of weeks for the Ministry to respond. Assuming you receive an authorization, you must submit it to your marriage licensing issuer, along with the requisite fee and other documentation they may require.

Once again, if you need a lawyer’s opinion to be sent to the Office of the Registrar, you can make a post on Dynamic Legal Forms (100% free and anonymous) to have local Ontario lawyers compete for your work.

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