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What you should know about same-sex divorce in Canada

Although gay marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005, the divorce process for same-sex marriages, or rather, gay marriage did not completely catch up with Canada's progressively more forward thinking laws until 2013. Until that time, a Canadian divorce was only available for couples if one spouse lived in Canada for a period of at least one year.

In August of 2013, however, amendments were made to the Civil Marriage Act that makes what is known as a "limited exception" for couples who initially were married in Canada, but then later discovered that they could not divorce in their home country due to the fact that the country or state that they live in did not recognize their marriage in Canada to be legal.

As the law now stands, spouses can file for a divorce in Canada even if neither one of the spouses live in the country, but they meet the law's criteria. That is, the marriage between the couple was initially performed in Canada and the state that the couple normally refers to as their "home" does not recognize their same-sex marriage as being valid.

Divorces in Canada that involve same-sex marriages can have unique legal issues that couples should be aware of. Individuals who are considering a divorce in Canada may find it beneficial to learn more about these legal issues and how they might pertain to their particular case. They could potentially find it to their advantage to seek counsel with a Canadian attorney with experience in family law who may be able to advise them about their valuable legal rights.

Source: Divorce In Canada, "About Same-Sex (Gay) Divorce in Canada," accessed June 12, 2015

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