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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101462
Experience:  Lawyer
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In 2011, I was married in a civil ceremony in Ontario,

Customer Question

In 2011, I was married in a civil ceremony in Ontario, Canada. A few weeks after the Record of Solemnization of my marriage was submitted, I received a phone call from someone from the government informing me that the person who performed my wedding ceremony was not authorized to do so - he was the town Mayor and had performed a few weddings that summer assuming he was legally able to do so, an honest mistake on his behalf. I was told to go to my city hall where there would be some paperwork to be filled out and the situation would be rectified, I could then receive a marriage certificate.
By this point, my partner and I were already having serious issues and due to this, we never went to city hall and got the matter resolved. We are now in a position to potentially want to break all ties and I am wondering exactly what kind of situation we are in legally and how to proceed.
I am aware that I am not legally married as the government would not issue me a marriage certificate however, is my marriage void/non-existent? Is there a record of it kept anywhere? Is it as though my marriage never happened or am I still required to take some sort of legal action to dissolve it?
In this situation, is an annulment required or unnecessary? Would I be guaranteed to be granted an annulment by the court if needed or is there a possibility I could still be required to file for a divorce?
If I am required to get an annulment, how long would it take to be finalized?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

This is of course a very unusual situation.

If your marriage is not valid you have to apply for an annulment. That is not as easy as it sounds. In fact it will take longer and be much more difficult to get than a divorce.

It may be that your best next step would be to get the paperwork done that was suggested to you several years ago and then apply for the divorce.

But as this is so unusual it would likely be best for you to be represented by a family lawyer and not self-represent.