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Same-Sex Divorce Coming to Canada for Foreign Couples

On the same day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against DOMA and Prop8, paving the way for greater access to marriage for millions of gay Americans, Canada's parliament closer to granting divorces for those same people.

CanadaLast week Towleroad linked to a Maclean's article that stated the legislation could be indefinitely stalled, leaving many divorce-seeking non-Canadian same-sex couples who married in Canada stuck with their nuptials, no matter how badly they might want a divorce.

Reports the CBC:

Instead of following the normal process for a bill where it is debated and voted on at various stages and studied by MPs on a committee, C-32 [the divorce bill] was declared passed at all stages in the Commons and it moved on to the Senate where it was also dealt with quickly. It landed in the Senate Wednesday and was passed Friday.

The original issue erupted when an odd loophole was exposed by a foreign same-sex couple who's home jurisdictions didn't recognize their marriage, and thus they sought divorce where they were originally married. But, Canada had a requirement that to obtain a divorce, one had to live in Canada for an entire year. The loophole wasn't acknowledged until now most likely because such hetero couples would never have had to return to Canada to get a divorce—their home countries simply would have granted it.

So, all in all, it's a pretty good day for same-sex couples in the U.S. that want to get married, and for same-sex couples who want to get out of theirs.

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  1. I love these intricacies of the recognition of foreign marriages and divorces.

    Does to day's ruling mean that a bi-national couple married in the Netherlands now living in the USA must be recognised as validly married in each and every State of the Union ?
    Can a foreign spouse of such valid marriage now apply for residency on the basis that he is married to a US citizen ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 26, 2013 3:46:38 PM

  2. If the country/state/whatever you live in doesn't recognize your marriage why do you even need a divorce?

    Posted by: Jmac | Jun 26, 2013 4:31:06 PM

  3. @Jmac-

    The usual reasons: property and custody. Avoiding a potential bigamy charge if one of the divorcés wishes to marry someone else.

    Posted by: Rich | Jun 26, 2013 4:38:17 PM

  4. Bill C-32 received 3rd reading in the House on June 18 and the Senate on June 21. It is still waiting on Royal Assent, but that usually happens once per week so probably by end of week.

    Posted by: Jim Elliott | Jun 26, 2013 4:46:05 PM

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