1. Figure out if you are legally married

Do I have to get a divorce?
This question has an answer and 4 steps
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1. Figure out if you are legally married

Only people who are legally married can get a divorce. To be legally married you have to meet certain conditions. If you didn't meet all the conditions below when you got married, you may not be legally married and don't need to get a divorce.

Canada recognizes marriages from different countries if they are performed in a way that is legal in that country. This is true even if the marriage would not be legal in Canada.

Age

You have to be at least 18 years old when you get married. If you're between the ages of 16 and 18, you and your partner must get written permission from both sets of parents.

Marriage ceremony

You have to go through a marriage ceremony. And it must be performed by someone with the legal power to marry people, such as a judge, justice of the peace, or religious official.

Your marriage ceremony can take place in Canada or in another country. It can be a religious marriage or a civil marriage.

Spouse

In Canada, a marriage can be between people of the opposite sex or same sex. Same-sex marriages have been legal in Ontario since 2003.

You can't marry your child, parent, grandchild, or sibling, whether that relationship is by blood or by adoption.

Married to one person

In Canada, polygamy, which is being married to more than one person at the same time, is against the law. Sometimes a family court recognizes a polygamous marriage if it was performed in a country where polygamy is legal. In those cases, all spouses in the marriage have the same rights and responsibilities as if they were married in Ontario.

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Reviewed: July 31, 2017

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