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Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter


If you want to get married in Canada but have previously obtained a divorce abroad in another country, you must provide with your application a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter. Failure to provide a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter in this situation will jeopardize your application and you will not receive a marriage certificate.


Who can provide a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter?

In Canada only a lawyer can provide such a letter as only a lawyer has the right to practice family law in Canada.  A paralegal cannot provide such a letter as a paralegal is not qualified and is not allowed to practice family law in Canada.


What do you need to obtain a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter?

  1. You will need to provide an original or a court certified divorce order from the Country the divorce was granted in. If such an order is not in English you will need to translate such an order into English at a licensed translator and provide a certified translation.
  2. You will need to provide an affidavit (a sworn statement) that you have lived at least for one year in the country which has granted you the divorce immediately before you have started the divorce OR you have a real and substantial connection to the country that granted you divorce.

What do you do after you have obtained a Foreign Divorce Opinion letter?

You will need to mail the following documents to ServiceOntario, Attn: Marriage Office, PO Box 4600, 189 Red River Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6L8:

  1. Marriage licence application form: completed and signed
  2. Statement of sole responsibility: for each divorce (signed by both people who are planning to get married and a witness)
  3. Legal opinion letter: from an Ontario lawyer, addressed to both people who plan to get married, giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in Ontario
  4. Divorce decree or annulment: an original or court-certified copy in English or French. If the decree is in another language, you will need to include a translated copy and an affidavit sworn by a certified translator