Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Same-sex Marriage 101

Gay Marriage in British Columbia
Although we are a law office specializing in Divorce, I am called several times a month by individuals looking for information on marriage, and specifically gay marriage.

First, let me say that in BC, and in Canada, the process for gay marriage and heterosexual marriage is the same:

  1. You do not need to be a resident of BC to be married in BC; but you will need to be a resident for 12 months if you need to file for divorce.
  2. You and your intended partner need to be 19 years of age; otherwise you will require parental consent.
  3. If your divorce was recent, you will need to provide evidence such as a Certificate of Divorce.
  4. If you are planning to get married, but are not divorced – CALL ME!
  5. One of the partners will need to get a marriage license; there are many locations issuing Licenses so visit the Vital Statistics website to find the office nearest you.
  6. The fee is currently of $100.
  7. You will need to present government issued identification for both partners, such as a Birth Certificate or Citizenship Card. Typically, a driver’s license or passport are not accepted.
  8. The license is valid for 3 months only.
  9. If you chose a religious ceremony, ensure that the person conducting the ceremony is registered with Vital Statistics, under the Marriage Act. For a civil marriage, contact a Marriage Commissioner in your city.
  10. Complete a Marriage Registration Form within 48 hours of the ceremony and sent to Vital Statistics so the marriage can be registered, and Vital Statistics will issue a Marriage Certificate.
  11. Keep the Marriage Certificate for your records, of course, and in the event of a divorce, you will be required to submit the Marriage Certificate to the Supreme Court when the divorce application is filed.

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