Divorce Without a Marriage Certificate
Do you need a copy of your marriage certificate to get a divorce?
In order to get a divorce, one of the things you need is your original marriage certificate which proves that you and your partner are legally married.
If you have lost your marriage certificate and you got married in Ontario you can order a new one online, by mail or fax, in person or by telephone. Be prepared to give you and your partner’s first and last names, the date you got married and the name of the city or town that you got married in. There is a fee associated with ordering a marriage certificate.
If you are ordering online, fill out ServiceOntario’s online application form and pay the associated fee with a credit card.
If you are ordering by mail or fax you should Download a Marriage Certificate Application Form, fill it out and mail it to the Office of the Registrar. You can pay the fee by either mailing a cheque made out to the Minister of Finance or you can write your credit card number on the form if you wish to pay by credit card.
You can only apply for a new marriage certificate in Toronto or Ottawa. You should download a Marriage Certificate Application Form, fill it out and take it to the address on the application form. Available payment options are the same as if you are ordering by mail or fax.
If you would like to order a new marriage certificate by telephone, you should call either Service Ontario or the Registrar General of Ontario and pay the fee with your credit card.
If you were married in Canada but outside of Ontario or outside of Canada, you should contact the government where you got married and ask them to send you the original or a copy of your marriage certificate.
If for some reason you cannot get your marriage certificate there is a box on the first page of Form 36: Affidavit for Divorce where you can explain why you were unable to get it.
How do you know if you are legally married?
In order to get a divorce you must be legally married. To be legally married there are certain conditions that you must meet:
- For a marriage to be legal you must be at least 18 years old at the time that you were married. If you were between the ages of 16 and 18, you and your partner must have gotten written consent from each of your parents in order for the marriage to be legal.
- You must have gone through a marriage ceremony that was performed by someone who has the legal power to marry people. This marriage ceremony can have taken place in either Canada or another country.
- A marriage can be between people of the opposite or same sex but you cannot marry your child, parent, grandchild, or sibling whether your relation to them is by blood or adoption.
- You may only be married to one person at a time. In Canada, polygamy, the act of being married to more than one person at the same time, is against the law. However, polygamous marriages can be recognized if it was performed in a country where it is legal.
If you are able to satisfy all of these above criteria you are legally married.
Canada also recognizes marriages from different countries so long as they are performed in a way that is legal in that country, even if the marriage would not have been legal in Canada.