What is Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter?
A Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter is a legal document issued by an Ontario Lawyer validating a Divorce Order/Decree issued out of Canada. If one party to the marriage was previously Divorced out of Canada, a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter is mandatory before a marriage license can be issued in Ontario.
Why Do You Need An Opinion Letter From Ontario Lawyer?
If you were Divorced outside of Canada and wish to remarry in Ontario, you would need to obtain a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter from Ontario Lawyer to confirm that the Divorce or Annulment is valid as per the Laws of Ontario.
Your Marriage License will not be issued Without an Opinion Letter
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Requirements for Getting Re-Married in Ontario
You can choose a civil marriage at a municipal office or City Hall, or a religious marriage carried out by a religious official who appears on the authorized list.
You will then need to seek a marriage license before the wedding can go ahead. In order to do this, you will need two forms of identification and will be required to pay a fee.
In order to receive a marriage license, you will need proof of the divorce including the final decree, the certificate of divorce and the final judgment.
In Order to get Remarried in Ontario, you would need to satisfy the following requirements.
- An application for a marriage license signed by both of you.
- Attach a Certified Copy of a Divorce Certificate Order or Decree which must be written in English or French. If the divorce certificate is written in another language then you must get a certified, translated version of the document.
- Attach a Statement of Sole Responsibility. If both of you had a divorce outside of Canada then you will each need to provide a Statement of Sole Responsibility, which can be found online. This is your statement to confirm that your foreign divorce is valid as far as you are concerned and any evidence to the contrary is your responsibility and not the responsibility of the Ontario government.
- Attach copy of the Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter. You will need to speak to an Ontario Divorce Lawyer about getting a foreign divorce opinion letter. This will outline the reasons why your divorce is eligible to be recognized in Canada.
As you can see here, the role of a Family & Divorce lawyer in Ontario is not only to help out with separations and divorce but also to assist couples who wish to remarry.
What is the Purpose of Legal Opinion Letter?
This is a letter written by a divorce lawyer in Ontario to state that in the lawyer’s opinion the foreign divorce is legally valid and should be recognized in Ontario.
Your lawyer will carry out research into the legal system of the country from which the divorce was given.
They will seek further information about where the married couple lived and the laws that applied to them. Following the assessment of all the required factors and relevant legal regulations, your lawyer will also give a legal opinion as to whether or not the foreign divorce should be recognized in Canada.
This will be presented as a list of reasons setting out why the lawyer is confident that the divorce should be considered valid based on the relevant laws of the province and the facts that the party has a strong and substaintial connection to the country which granted the divorce or the person was domiciled in that country.
The foreign divorce letter can only be written and signed by a Lawyer in Ontario who has authorization from the Law Society of Ontario.
The Registrar General of Ontario will reject any letter that is written by yourself or by a lawyer who does not have the relevant qualifications or authority.
To allow your lawyer to be able to start drafting a letter, you must be able to provide certain documents. Be sure to bring along the following:
- A Statement of Sole Responsibility with both parties as signatories.
- The Application for Marriage
- A signed statement from the person who was divorced, or from both parties if you have both been divorced outside of Canada, confirming that you lived for at least a year in the country where the divorce was granted, prior to submitting the application for divorce.
Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter Cost $199
How much does a Legal Opinion Letter Cost?
At Shaikh Law, we Charge a Fixed Legal Fees if $199 + Tax to issue a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter. We also provide an All-inclusive service for a total of $450 + Tax which including the issuance of Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter as well as submission of all documents on your behalf to the Marriage Office, as well as compliance of requirements to obtain a marriage license. We will take care of the submission of documents.
How do I know if my foreign divorce will be recognized in Ontario?
There are a stringent set of criteria to establish whether or not your divorce will be considered valid in Ontario. The divorce is likely to be accepted if you can prove one of the following.
- You can show a real and substantial connection to the country in which you applied for divorce. There is no hard and fast rule about what qualifies as a real and substantial connection but if you resided in a location and worked there then there is usually a presumption that you had a genuine connection. Even if you have never actually lived in that country, if you can show that you are originally from there, have returned there on numerous occasions or perhaps own property there then you may still be able to meet the real and substantial connection criteria.
- You can show that you or your spouse were resident in the country where you obtained your divorce for at least a year prior to your application.
How long will it take for my foreign divorce to be recognized in Ontario?
The process of having your divorce recognized in Canada doesn’t take very long. It is usually somewhere between 3 and 4 weeks.
Therefore, we recommend that you don’t delay in seeing a foreign divorce lawyer in Ontario, in order for them to prepare your foreign divorce opinion letter as soon as possible. Having your other documents ready will expedite the process.