Toronto LGBTQ Divorce Lawyer

Since 2005, Canada has recognized same-sex marriage and, accordingly, same-sex divorce. Although the law does not distinguish between LGBTQ couples and heterosexual couples, some issues are unique to same-sex unions and divorces.

Our practiced divorce lawyers understand these issues and could provide supportive counsel and effective advocacy during marriage dissolution proceedings. Emphasizing superior client service, The Riley Family & Divorce Firm is available at all times to address concerns and answer questions about LGBTQ divorce in Toronto.

Requirements for a Divorce in Toronto

In Toronto, the law establishes specific legal requirements necessary for divorce for LGBTQ couples:

  • You must be legally married, meaning either married in Canada or married under the laws of another country, and Canada must recognize the legality of the marriage.
  • One spouse must be a resident in the province where you apply for divorce for at least one year prior to making the application.
  • The marriage must be irretrievably broken. You could demonstrate the breakdown of your marriage by proving adultery, cruelty, or living apart for one year prior to the divorce application.

The limited availability and high cost of housing might force some couples to continue residing in the same space even after their marriage has broken down. Separation could be your grounds for divorce even if you continue to live in the same residence. Paul Riley could explain how to prove you are separated when you have not occupied separate homes.

Divorce for Non-Resident LGBTQ Couples

Because Canada recognized same-sex marriage before many other countries, gay couples would travel for the express purpose of marrying. They might then return to their home country that did not recognize their marriage and would not provide them a divorce if the marriage did not endure. People who met and married in Canada and then relocated to a country that did not recognize their marriage faced the same problem.

To resolve this issue, the Civil Marriage Act s.5(3) contains an exception to the residency requirement for same-sex couples for whom divorce is not an option where they live because their home country does not recognize the legality of their marriage. A Toronto same-sex divorce lawyer like Paul Riley could advise such a couple about how to proceed to achieve a divorce most efficiently.

Issues Regarding Children

Access and support of children could sometimes be challenging when LGBTQ marriages dissolve. If the spouses adopted a child together or one spouse adopted the other’s child, access and support are treated exactly as it would be if the couple were not gay. The couple would develop a parenting plan detailing each parent’s access, parenting time, and decision-making responsibility. They must also include a provision for the financial support of the children.

Sometimes LGBTQ couples raise children together but only one spouse is a legal parent. If you have no legal relationship with a child you helped raise, you have no right to custody when you and the child’s parent divorce. If possible, couples who intend to continue co-parenting should formalize both spouses’ relationship to the child through adoption.

Sometimes a child has a living legal parent who does not consent to an adoption. In that case, an LGBTQ Toronto lawyer could help you establish that your relationship with the child is important, and the child could suffer harm if it were severed in a divorce. You might be granted regular access to the child under those circumstances.

Work With a Toronto Legal Professional To Formalize a Same-Sex Divorce

Same-sex divorce is no different in most aspects from heterosexual divorce, but some challenges arise more often in LGBTQ divorces. Paul Riley could give you legal advice regarding these challenges and the best strategies for resolving them.

Our Toronto LGBTQ divorce lawyers could see you through the process from application to final decree. Reach out anytime to schedule a consultation.

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