Marriage in Canada
The Government of Canada has exclusive authority governing marriage and divorce in Canada under section 91(26) of the Constitution of Canada. However section 92(12) of the Constitution gives the provinces the power to pass laws regulating the solemnization of marriage.
Marriages in Canada can be either civil or religious. Marriages may be performed by members of the clergy, marriage commissioners, judges, justices of the peace or clerks of the court. In 2001, the majority of Canadian marriages (76.4%) were religious, with the remainder (23.6%) being performed by non-clergy.
The federal Marriage (Prohibited Degrees) Act (S.C. 1990, c. 46)  prevents the following persons from getting married:
- 2. (1) Subject to subsection (2), persons related by consanguinity, affinity or adoption are not prohibited from marrying each other by reason only of their relationship.
- (2) No person shall marry another person if they are related
- (a) lineally by consanguinity or adoption;
- (b) as brother and sister by consanguinity, whether by the whole blood or by the half-blood; or
- (c) as brother and sister by adoption.
The provinces set additional rules governing who can get married.
- In Alberta, anyone 18 or over can get married. A person between the ages of 16 and 18 can get married with the consent of both their parents. Anyone under 16 cannot get married; this does not apply to a female if a physician's certificate shows she is pregnant or the mother of a living child. There is no requirement for residency.
- In British Columbia, anyone 19 or over can get married. A person between the ages of 16 and 18 can get married with the consent of both their parents. Under the age of 16, a person needs the consent of the Supreme or County Court. There is no requirement for residency.
- In Ontario, Both parties MUST be 18 years of age or over to obtain a Licence. A person who is 16 or 17 can get married with the consent of both their parents. In order to get married, they will need either a marriage licence or for the banns to be published. There is no requirement for residency.
- In Québec, the legal age for marriage is 16, but people under 18 may marry with consent from their parents or their tutor. Marriage is governed by the Civil Code of Québec.
- In New Brunswick, anyone 18 or over can get married. A never-married person aged 16 or 17 may marry with parental consent.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005. Age restrictions are the same as for marriage between a heterosexual couple.
A divorce may be granted for one of the following reasons:
- the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and the two parties have been living apart for a year (s.8(2)(a) of the Act)
- one party has committed adultery (s.8(2)(b)(i) of the Act)
- one party has treated the other party "with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses" (s.8(2)(b)(ii) of the Act)
- ^ "Constitution Act, 1867, Section 91". Canadian Department of Justice. http://lois.justice.gc.ca/en/const/c1867_e.html#distribution.
- ^ The Daily, Thursday, November 20, 2003. Marriages
- ^ Marriage (Prohibited Degrees) Act
- ^ http://www.canlii.org/en/ab/laws/stat/rsa-2000-c-m-5/latest/rsa-2000-c-m-5.html
- ^ BC Vital Statistics Agency - How to Get Married in BC
- ^ http://www.cbs.gov.on.ca/mcbs/english/marriages.htm
- ^ Marriage
- ^ Getting Married - Service New Brunswick. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
- ^ Divorce Act
Marriage in North America Sovereign states
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Barthélemy
- Saint Martin
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Sint Eustatius
- Sint Maarten
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United States Virgin Islands
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