Foreign Divorce Opinion Letters

Foreign Divorce Opinion Letters from Morneau Family Law and Legal Innovation

If you wish to remarry in Ontario Canada, and you were divorced in another country, you will need a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter before you can marry again. The same applies if you have an “annulment of marriage” from a foreign country.

A Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter can only be provided by an authorized Law Society of Ontario lawyer such as myself.

Contact me with your requirements:

Morneau Family Law & Legal Innovation

What is a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter?

A foreign divorce opinion letter is a legal document prepared by a lawyer that provides an opinion on the validity of a divorce granted outside of Canada. This letter is often required by the Ontario government or other Canadian authorities to recognize the foreign divorce for purposes such as remarriage or legal status adjustments in Canada.

Key aspects of a foreign divorce opinion letter include:

  • Validation of Divorce: The letter assesses whether the foreign divorce meets the legal requirements under Canadian law, particularly under the Divorce Act and provincial regulations.
  • Jurisdiction and Legal Grounds: It evaluates whether the court that granted the divorce had proper jurisdiction and whether the grounds for the divorce align with those recognized by Canadian law.
  • Legal Procedures: The letter reviews if the divorce process followed the legal procedures of the country where the divorce was granted.
  • Public Policy: It considers whether recognizing the foreign divorce would be contrary to Canadian public policy.
  • Document Review: I will examine the divorce decree and any other relevant legal documents from the foreign jurisdiction. If the divorce is not in English or French, it must be accompanied by an office translation.
  • Opinion on Recognition: Based on the review, I provide a formal opinion on whether the foreign divorce should be recognized as valid in Ontario.

FAQ’s

A Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter can only be drawn up by a lawyer authorized to create one, such as myself. So, please make an appointment that you and your soon to be spouse both can attend, as there will be paperwork to complete and sign.

In order for me to provide an opinion letter, I follow these steps:

  • You and I meet, and I gather information regarding your relationship, marriage and divorce;
  • You will need to provide the following documents:
    1. An original or court-certified copy of the divorce decree with a translated version if it is in a language other than English or French.
    2. A completed Marriage License Application; and
    3. A completed Statement of Sole Responsibility.

If neither you nor your former spouse (it only has to be one of you) lived in the jurisdiction that granted the divorce for at least one year prior to the divorce being granted, then I would have to determine that there was a “real and substantial connection” to the jurisdiction that granted the divorce.

When you make an appointment, I will provide a full list of all documents required, along with timeframe and costs.

Any lawyer creating your Letters will in effect be acting on behalf of the government of Ontario. Your lawyer must be satisfied that your divorce or annulment is legal before they can write the letter. They are required to look at certain criteria, and this may involve further research into the legal system of the country where you got divorced.

This research make take considerable time, so please allow sufficient time before your wedding date to get your Letter and marriage licence before your wedding date. However, if you have all the required information and are able to meet with me promptly, I can often produce these letters within a day or two.

Help with your Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter

Contact me to make an appointment to discuss your requirements for a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter.