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Following the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act in 2005, legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada, many 2SLGBTQI+ couples chose to marry in Canada. However, if their marriage was not recognized in their home state or nation and they later decided to separate, obtaining a divorce proved challenging. They were not able to obtain a divorce in their country of residence if their marriage was not legally recognized, and obtaining a divorce in Canada was not an option because they did not meet the one-year residency requirement.

To address this issue, the introduction of the Civil Marriage of Non-residents Act served to assist 2SLGBTQI+ couples seeking a divorce.

At Align Family Law, our lawyers can help non-resident 2SLGBTQI+ couples, facilitating divorces for marriages conducted in Canada that are not recognized in their country of residence, even if they do not meet the one-year Canadian residency requirement.

The Civil Marriage of Non-residents Act: A Solution to the Challenge of Divorce for Non-Resident 2SLGBTQI+ Couples

The Canadian government introduced the Civil Marriage of Non-residents Act to address the unique challenges faced by non-resident 2SLGBTQI+ couples, offering a path to divorce under certain conditions.

This Act allows for the divorce of non-residents married in Canada under three specified conditions:

  • The parties have been separated (note, they can still live under the same roof and be “separated”) for at least one year before initiating the divorce application;
  • Neither spouse was living in Canada at the time of the application; and
  • Both spouses were residing in a country where a divorce was unattainable because that state did not recognize their marriage.

Contact Align Family Law 2SLGBTQI+ Lawyers Today

The journey towards equal rights and recognition for 2SLGBTQI+ couples is ongoing. The Civil Marriage of Non-residents Act represents a significant step forward in ensuring that Canada remains a place where love and commitment are honored, irrespective of nationality or the laws governing one’s home country. At Align Family Law, we are proud to support the 2SLGBTQI+ community by providing knowledgeable, empathetic legal services. Together, we can navigate the path to resolution and peace.

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