Canadian Same-Sex Marriages of Non-Residents May be in Doubt

In responding to a court application for divorce of a same-sex couple married in Canada, a federal government lawyer has taken the position:

  1. Non-resident couples who marry in Canada “must live in the country for at least a year before they can obtain a divorce“; and
  2. Canadian same-sex marriages are only legal if they are legal where the couple resides.

In this particular action, one of the parties lives in Florida and the other in the United Kingdom, and could not have legally married in either of those jurisdictions.

The implication is that many of the same-sex couples who travelled from abroad to Canada to marry since 2004 are not legally wed.

The mechanics of determining issues such as tax status, employment benefits and immigration have been thrown into legal limbo.

Read the entire news report of this case on-line in The Globe and Mail.