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Divorce Now Available for Non-Resident Same-Sex Couples

On August 16, 2013, the Canadian Government announced that the Civil Marriage of Non-Residents Act has been brought into force. The new Act allows same-sex couples who live outside of British Columbia to apply for divorce in the British Columbia Supreme Court. The Canadian Parliament passed the Civil Marriage Act in 2005, officially recognizing same-sex marriage in Canada. Many same-sex couples who resided in jurisdictions with no recognition of same-sex marriage subsequently travelled to British Columbia and the other Canadian provinces to wed. Those couples who later wished to become divorced found themselves in a legal conundrum: they could not divorce in their home country because they were not recognized as legally married, but they also could not divorce in Canada because they were not “ordinarily resident” in Canada as required under Canada’s Divorce Act. The Civil Marriage of Non-Residents Act remedies that problem, allowing non-resident same-sex spouses who have lived separate and apart for a period of at least one year to apply for divorce in the province in which they were married. If you are a same-sex spouse living in a country that does not recognize your British Columbia marriage, and you are thinking about a divorce, contact our lawyers at Henderson Heinrichs LLP for advice about obtaining your divorce in British Columbia.Virginia Richards

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