You can now file for divorce in Canada if neither spouse lives here if (a) the same-sex marriage was performed in Canada and (b) a gay divorce cannot be granted because your home state does not recognize the validity of the (same-sex) marriage.
Prior to the passage of this new law, a divorce could not be granted in Canada if neither party lived here. This left same-sex couples ‘trapped’ in their marriage if their home state would not grant a divorce because the same-sex marriage was not recognized in the first place.
The new law provides a mechanism for such non-resident, same-sex couples to get a divorce granted in the Canadian province where the marriage took place.
The following three conditions must be met:
- there has been a breakdown of the marriage as established by the spouses having lived separate and apart for at least one year before the making of the application;
- neither spouse resides in Canada at the time the application is made; and
- each of the spouses is residing – and for at least one year immediately before the application is made, has resided – in a state where a divorce cannot be granted because that state does not recognize the validity of the marriage.