If you decide to remarry, there are legal requirements and precautions to take before solemnizing your marriage.
The first legal requirement is an Order for Divorce granted by the Superior Court of Justice or Unified Family Court. A Divorce Order is a formal document issued by the court; it is the legal termination of your marriage. Once a Divorce Order is granted, a copy of the order is sent to your lawyer, or in the case of a self-represented party, to the address that party has on file with the court.
The second legal requirement is a Certificate of Divorce. This document may be issued the day the divorce is finalized. In most cases, this is 31 days after the Divorce Order is granted. (In special circumstances, the date of the divorce may be earlier.) This document can be ordered by your lawyer, or in the case of self-represented parties, it may be obtained from the court directly. When applying for a subsequent marriage licence, the issuing clerk will need to see the Certificate of Divorce as proof that you are no longer married.
Although it is not formally required, you should consider having a lawyer draft a marriage contract before your remarry. In the event of a marriage breakdown, a marriage contract can protect your assets and limit your obligation to pay spousal support. Each party to a marriage contract needs independent legal advice to ensure the contract is signed with a complete understanding of the terms and conditions specified in the contract. A marriage contract must be reasonable, as courts disallow (the legal term is “set aside”) contracts that are obviously one-sided.
One final consideration is the redrafting of your will. When you marry, all previous wills are revoked unless they are drafted in contemplation of the forthcoming marriage. This step is particularly important if you have children from your previous marriage(s) whom you want to benefit under your will.
For experienced insight and counsel related to your divorce and remarriage, call our Ontario family lawyers at Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. at (905) 581-7222.