Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter

Get expert advice on the matters of family law from your home. We bring legal expertise to you in the most convenient and affordable way.

Why Do You Need a Foreign Divorce Opinion?

Legal opinion letters confirm you are legally divorced or verify a foreign marriage was annulled. Only a lawyer licensed by the Law Society of Ontario can issue a legal opinion letter. Axess Law’s family lawyers go over Canadian and foreign laws with you and review where your divorce or annulment was granted, where you lived before you divorced and any other legal issues that could affect your Ontario marriage application.

When you get married outside Canada, your divorce is subject to foreign laws. If you apply to remarry in Ontario, you must show proof your foreign divorce is genuine. Legal opinion letters confirm you are legally divorced or verify a foreign marriage was annulled. Only a lawyer licensed by the Law Society of Ontario can issue a legal opinion letter.

A marriage breakdown is traumatic and can be even more frustrating if your plans to remarry are held up by uncertainty about whether a foreign divorce is real. This is where we step in to assist you with the status of your divorce in Ontario.

Polygamy, or being married to multiple partners at once, is permissible in some countries, but not in Canada. That means you must provide a foreign divorce opinion letter when you apply for a marriage license here. Unless you attach this all-important legal document, your marriage application could be turned down, forcing you to reapply at a later date.

How It Works

01

Book Your Appointment

Click on ‘Get Started’ to submit your details. Our client care team will contact you shortly to schedule your appointment with the lawyer

02

Meet With The Lawyer

Axess Law gives you legal advice as your case requires. Family lawyers can meet you in person or online, at your convenience.

03

Review Documents

Our family lawyers file legal documents or answer court questions. We help you navigate through your domestic legal issue with ease.

Documents We Need

Whether you are seeking independent advice on what options you have or need guidance on family law needs, Axess Law’s legal services make getting legal advice a simple task. Bring the following for your online video conference (anywhere in Ontario) or in-person meeting at our Greater Toronto Area law offices:

Axess Law will ask you for two pieces of I.D. Proving your identity is obligatory to prevent fraud. You may use either two pieces of primary I.D. or one primary and one secondary I.D. These include:

  • Driver’s license
  • Canadian passport
  • Ontario photo card
  • Canadian citizenship card with photo
  • PR card with photo
When meeting with your family lawyer, carry your divorce decree, certificate of divorce, or annulment for each divorce. The documents can be either originals or court-certified copies.
Carry with you a signed copy of your Ontario marriage license application to show your lawyer.
A residency declaration showing you lived in a foreign country for at least a year before divorcing (if applicable). Your residency declaration can be brief. We just need to know where you lived in the year before getting a foreign divorce.
Our lawyers are also notary publics and can witness statements of sole responsibility or, if you are meeting in person, arrange for certified true copies of original documents.
When meeting with your lawyer, ensure you carry English or French translation for documents in other languages, with sworn affidavits from a certified translator.
When booking an appointment, our team will make a note of your contact information. This would include your name, email address, and telephone number.

Can I Remarry After a Foreign Divorce?

Yes! But, be sure to plan well ahead of your wedding ceremony to leave sufficient time to get legal documents signed and approved. Getting approved to remarry takes about four weeks. You then have 90 days from the date your marriage license is issued to get married or reapply.

Is Foreign Divorce Legal in Ontario?

Most divorces from foreign countries, including the United States, are recognized in Canada provided: 

you or your spouse lived in a foreign country for at least a year before divorcing, or

you have a “real and substantial connection” to the country where you divorced.

What Can a Family Lawyer Help Me With?

Before you sign documents that affect your future, ask Axess Law for our opinion. Our family lawyers:

Help you understand both Canadian and foreign marriage laws

Review foreign laws to point out where the divorce was granted

Provide a legal opinion on whether your divorce is legal

Arrange notary publics to witness statements of sole responsibility

What Our Customers Say About Us

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Convenient Appointments

Axess Law gives you the choice of booking an online or in-person appointment. Our lawyers are available 7 days a week, at times convenient for you. We can meet in person, by phone, email, or via a remote video call. In addition to these, there are 5 Axess Law offices located across the Greater Toronto Area – all with onsite parking or easily accessible by public transit.

Some FAQs

Legal opinion letters are addressed to you and your future spouse and explain why your foreign divorce or annulment should be recognized in Ontario. Our family lawyers give their opinion on whether your divorce is legal to include with your marriage license application. You submit the letter and application to the Ontario Registrar General, who reviews your documents and makes a decision. If you are approved, Service Ontario couriers you with an authorization to remarry letter.
Yes! But, be sure to plan well ahead of your wedding ceremony to leave sufficient time to get legal documents signed and approved. Getting approved to remarry takes about four weeks. You then have 90 days from the date your marriage license is issued to get married or reapply.

Most divorces from foreign countries, including the United States, are recognized in Canada provided:

  • you or your spouse lived in a foreign country for at least a year before divorcing, or
  • you have a “real and substantial connection” to the country where you divorced.
Be wary if a foreign spouse suggests a divorce that seems too convenient. Divorce requirements under Canadian law can be quite different than in foreign countries or places like Las Vegas where marriage and divorce are less formal. Quick divorces in foreign countries may not be recognized in Ontario and you could be committing polygamy if you remarry before you confirm a foreign divorce is legal in Canada. Before you apply for a divorce in a foreign country or if your spouse is not from Canada, check with Axess Law. Our family lawyers can advise you on how a foreign country’s divorce laws affect you.

Ontario courts rarely refuse to recognize foreign divorces, but it can happen if:

  • you failed to give notice you were applying for divorce
  • the divorce order goes against public policy
  • a foreign court couldn’t grant the divorce
  • or your divorce is fraudulent.
Some countries may not recognize Ontario marriages unless you also get a religious divorce or a get if you are Jewish. Since that could complicate travel plans or future employment prospects, ask us before traveling to Islamic countries or foreign places.
Legal advice on divorce is especially important if you have biological or adopted children. Your parenting time and decision-making responsibilities (formerly called child custody and access rights in Ontario) or spousal and child support rights can depend on where your children grew up. A child brought to Ontario from a foreign country can be subject to Canadian law. We recommend getting legal advice from our qualified Ontario lawyers before applying to remarry.

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