Getting a divorce if your home country doesn't recognize your same-sex marriage

If you're in a same-sex marriage and you want a divorce, you can apply for one in Canada if:

  • you were married in Canada,
  • you and your spouse both live outside of Canada,
  • your same-sex marriage:
    • is valid in BC, but
    • isn't valid in your home country, and
  • neither of you can get a divorce in your home country.

Usually one person has to be a resident of the province where they apply for a divorce, but in these cases, the law lets non-residents (people who don't live in Canada) apply for a divorce in Canada if:

  • you've been separated for at least one year and you don't expect to get back together,
  • neither of you is living in Canada when you make the application, and
  • you both live (and have lived for at least one year) in a country where you can't get a divorce because your marriage isn't recognized as valid.

You have to apply for the divorce in the province where you were married. In Canada, you apply for a divorce in the superior court of a province.

In BC, the superior court is the BC Supreme Court.

See the BC Supreme Court Practice Direction — 43: Civil Marriage Act — Procedures for Divorce for:

  • information about how to apply for a divorce, and
  • sample court forms and templates.
Updated on 13 September 2019