OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 16, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the coming into force of a new divorce process for certain non-resident couples who married in Canada.

"I am pleased to announce that the new divorce process in Bill C-32, the Civil Marriage of Non-Residents Act, is now in force," said Minister MacKay. "With this Bill we have addressed an unfairness faced by couples who came to Canada to get married in good faith, but who then found they were unable to dissolve their marriage because their Canadian marriage is not recognized in their country or state of residence."

Generally, a Canadian divorce is only available if at least one of the spouses has lived in Canada for at least one year. Amendments to the Civil Marriage Act now make a limited exception for couples from other countries if they married in Canada and cannot divorce in their home country because their country does not recognize the Canadian marriage.

Bill C-32, which amended the Civil Marriage Act to create the new divorce process for non-residents, received Royal Assent in June 2013 with the support of all parties. Provisions ensuring that marriages performed in Canada between non-residents are valid in Canada if they would be valid for couples living in Canada, and related provisions, came into effect on the date of Royal Assent. The provisions creating the new divorce process are brought into effect today by Order in Council.

To obtain a divorce under the new process, eligible spouses need to contact the Superior Court in the Canadian province or territory where they married.

An online version of the legislation is available.


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Contact Information:

Paloma Aguilar
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice