Civil Marriage of Non-residents Act

An Act to amend the Civil Marriage Act (divorce and corollary relief)

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

This bill was previously introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session.


Randall Garrison  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of Oct. 16, 2013
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Civil Marriage Act in order to provide that all marriages performed in Canada between non-residents, whether they are of the same sex or of the opposite sex, that would be valid in Canada if the spouses were domiciled in Canada are valid for the purposes of Canadian law even if one or both of the non-residents do not, at the time of the marriage, have the capacity to enter into it under the law of their respective state of domicile. It also establishes a new divorce process that allows a Canadian court to grant a divorce and corollary relief to non-resident spouses who reside in a state where a divorce cannot be granted to them because that state does not recognize the validity of their marriage.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Civil Marriage ActRoutine Proceedings

June 15th, 2012 / 12:15 p.m.
See context


Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-435, An Act to amend the Civil Marriage Act (divorce and corollary relief).

Madam Speaker, I rise today to introduce a private member's bill entitled an act to amend the Civil Marriage Act (divorce and corollary relief).

Members will know that on February 17 the government introduced a similarly titled bill which has as its main purpose to guarantee the validity of all same-sex marriages entered into in Canada, something we on this side of the House have never questioned.

My bill aims to provide the same legal guarantee but has two additional provisions. The most important is to add a clause to allow Canadian courts, if asked, to assume jurisdiction for corollary remedies. This would allow them in non-resident same-sex divorce cases to deal with important matters like child custody and division of property. Without this provision, which is not in the government's bill, non-resident same-sex couples would be able to get a divorce but they would have no way of dealing with outstanding legal questions connected with that divorce, including child custody.

The other provision would correct a technical flaw in the government's bill that would require one member of a same-sex couple seeking a divorce, where the other was missing or unreasonably withholding consent, to get a declaration stating this from a court in the home jurisdiction. This is obviously impossible if the same-sex marriage is not recognized in that jurisdiction.

Since creating the furor over the question of validity of same-sex marriages, the government has not proceeded beyond introducing its bill. Today I call on the Conservatives to either proceed with their bill, and I will offer them the amendments from mine, or if they prefer, as of today we could proceed with my bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)