Foreign Divorce Opinion Letters

Are you getting married in Ontario after getting divorced in another country?

If you were granted a divorce in another country and wish to remarry in Ontario, you will need to apply for government authorization before you can obtain a marriage license. The government needs to be satisfied that your foreign divorce is valid under Canadian law before you are allowed to remarry.

What is “foreign divorce opinion letter”?

You are required to provide the government with a number of items to prove that you are no longer married, including a letter of opinion from an Ontario lawyer who has reviewed your official documents. This “foreign divorce opinion letter” details reason why the lawyer believes your divorce should be recognized under Canadian law. 

What do I need to get the letter?

You will need to provide your lawyer with the following materials:

  • A completed and signed marriage license application form;
  • A Statement of Sole Responsibility for each divorce signed by both people who are planning to get married and a witness (this is an acknowledgement that the Ontario government is not responsible if your foreign divorce turns out to be invalid);
  • An original or court-certified copy of your divorce decree or annulment in English or French;
  • A certified translation if the decree is in any other language; and
  • Identification for both people who are planning to get married.

How long does it take to prepare the letter?

It typically takes one or two business days for a lawyer to review your documents and prepare the letter. Then, you can send your application to the government. It may take several weeks for the government to validate your documents and send you an authorization. You should start the process at least two months before you want to obtain your marriage license to avoid issues related to delay.