Different Cultural Practices Protecting Your Family's Interests for Over 25 Years

Different Cultural Practices & Canadian Law

Varying Practices & Laws May Affect Your Ontario Divorce or Separation

At times, various cultural practices may conflict with Canadian law relating to marriage, separation, and divorce. When this happens, it is important to know how different cultural practices and the laws of other jurisdictions interact with Canadian law.

Canadian law will recognize marriages performed in other countries, provided they were valid in the country in which they were performed. If you are seeking to separate and suspect your marriage may never have been valid in the first place, you should consult with a lawyer. An Ontario family law lawyer at Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. can help you determine if you should pursue separation, or whether you can obtain an annulment.

A marriage that takes place in Canada must comply with Canadian legal requirements regarding validity. The parties must be over the age of majority (18 in Ontario), or over 16 with parental permission. In addition, the parties must freely consent to the marriage.

Annulment

If your marriage was not valid, you can seek an annulment, which is a declaration that a marriage is void. When a marriage is declared void, it is declared to legally have never existed. You therefore do not need to go through the process of separation and divorce, and you are free to remarry at any time.

Another legal requirement of marriage in Canada is that both parties be present. In one Canadian case, the spouses participated in a “proxy marriage,” in which one of the spouses was not physically present. The court found that marriage to be void – in other words, no marriage ever came into existence.

Arranged Marriage

In many cultures, arranged marriages are accepted practice. Arranged marriages are perfectly legal in Canada, provided they are consented to by the parties. Forced marriages are not legal. If you have been forced into a marriage, you can apply to the court to declare the marriage void. However, in order to be seen as “forced,” you must have felt you had no option but to comply – you must have been acting without free will. If there has been duress or coercion to the extent that you had reason to be afraid for your own safety and security and felt threatened into marriage, that marriage will be voidable. Simply feeling pressure to marry a chosen spouse does not invalidate consent.

Canadian Spouses Have Equal Rights in a Separation or Divorce

When it comes to separation, and all forms of corollary relief (support, child custody and access, property division), different cultures have different customs and expectations regarding what each spouse is entitled to. However, courts will accord the same rights to all spouses. Under Canadian law, spouses are equally entitled to support, division of property, and child custody.

Looking to learn more about how cultural practices or the laws of other jurisdictions may affect your separation? Call (905) 581-7222 to speak with an Ontario separation lawyer about your case.

Meet Our Dedicated Team of Lawyers

Over a Century of Collective Experience
  • Andrew  Feldstein Photo
  • Deleta  Grandy Photo
  • Jeff  Hart Photo
  • Daphna  Schwartz Photo
  • Nick  Slinko Photo
  • Anna  Troitschanski Photo
  • Veronica  Yeung Photo
  • Shana  Gordon-Katz Photo
  • Shazia  Hafiji Photo
  • Lucy  D'Ercole Photo
  • Joy  Pura Photo
  • Andrew  Feldstein Photo
    Andrew Feldstein

    Founder

    Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.

  • Deleta  Grandy Photo
    Deleta Grandy

    Lawyer

    Deleta Grandy obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in 2012, where she graduated with Honours. She completed her legal studies at Western Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 2016.

  • Jeff  Hart Photo
    Jeff Hart

    Lawyer

    Jeff obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from McMaster University before attending law school at Queen’s.

  • Daphna  Schwartz Photo
    Daphna Schwartz

    Lawyer

    Location: Markham Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously ...
  • Nick  Slinko Photo
    Nick Slinko

    Lawyer

    Location: Vaughan Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and ...
  • Anna  Troitschanski Photo
    Anna Troitschanski

    Lawyer

    Anna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
  • Veronica  Yeung Photo
    Veronica Yeung

    Lawyer

    Veronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.

  • Shana  Gordon-Katz Photo
    Shana Gordon-Katz

    Lawyer

    Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.

  • Shazia  Hafiji Photo
    Shazia Hafiji

    Lawyer

    Shazia Hafiji joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2016 and returned as an articling student in 2017. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in 2018, Shazia returned to the firm as an associate lawyer.

  • Lucy  D'Ercole Photo
    Lucy D'Ercole

    Lawyer

    Lucy D’Ercole joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2017 and returned as an articling student in 2018, during which she gained valuable experience in all areas of family law. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in 2019, Lucy was welcomed back to the firm as an associate lawyer.
  • Joy  Pura Photo
    Joy Pura

    Lawyer

    Joy Pura completed her legal studies and obtained a Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa. Prior to that, she completed ...
/

We're Committed to You

  • Convenient Meeting Locations

    Our team is able to meet with you and provide quality family law legal services in Markham, Oakville, Mississauga, Vaughan, and the surrounding areas.

  • Quick Response Times by Email & Phone

    This is one of the most difficult times in your life and our goal is to help make this transition as smooth as possible. To help put your mind at ease we ensure that our team is always available to guide you.

  • Free In-Office Consultations*

    We understand you have questions and need guidance on your next step. We make getting these questions answered as easy as possible. We offer free consultation* for our new clients.

  • 25 Years of Experience

    Experience Matters. Our founding attorney has over 25 years of experience in the legal field. As a firm you get over a century of dedicated legal experience advocating for your family's best interests. 

Take the First Step

Fill out the form below to begin your free in-office consultation with one of our experienced lawyers or call us at 905-581-7222.
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.