Thursday 12 January 2012

Working in Montréal today --The Marriage Trap!

Good Morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.  Although will be arriving late, as it is hard to board an aircraft that was accident not fetched from a hangar.

In today's Globe on page 1 at the top, in very large letters are the words, "THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE TRAP" oh yes, all in caps, yelling even.  Followed by the sub-heading, "Thousand of gay couples who were legally web in Canada aren't legally married.."

This would be a travesty, if it were true.

The case that sparked the headlines.. I will digress a bit.  I think that the Iranian assassinations that are occurring might be more headline worthy, these may escalate the US and Iran into a new gulf war.  Gulf War III, Revenge of the Clerics?  Sort of a prequel and sequel all at the same time.

But no.  Just another headline designed to cause unnecessary fear and confusion in the minds of thousands of gay couples that were married, and are married.   Shame on you Globe and Mail!

The case in question is not actually a question specific to gay couples, but any couple that travel to a jurisdiction apart from their actual domicile and enter into a marriage or seek a dissolution into divorce.

A marriage contract issued in Canada requires that the participants reside in Canada for one year prior to the marriage.  If a couple that live in Florida flock up to Canada and obtain a quickly marriage and then return to the land of Oranges and (the late?) Anita Bryant, there is no marriage on which to enact a divorce.

That is where the problem is.  In order to obtain a divorce in Canada, one must demonstrate that there was a valid marriage.  That is a test that is part of the divorce process very early on and it matters not that there is a piece of paper that proclaims there to be a marriage, but the marriage must be found to be legal in the jurisdiction of residence or in a jurisdiction of a prior residence and that the Canadian court has proper jurisdiction to issue a divorce decree.

The problem is similar for a couple from Toronto (straight or gay) race down to Peru and obtain a quickie divorce and then return to Canada and attempt to enter into a new marriage (yeh, I mean with other ppl).  The Canadian authorities will likely find that the couple is still married since the residency requirement would not have been fulfilled in Peru.

So, those that live in Canada and were married in Canada, straight/gay or otherwise are married, don't fret.  But if you ran up to Canada to get a piece of paper because your own land would not issue it, you are not married in the eyes of your land nor this one.  Sorry, but at least you have a cool souvenir, better than a "Vote For Ford" t-shirt.

Have a good day, when in doubt get legal advice before signing stuff.

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