Looking at the title of this article, you may think it is such a no-brainer. However, few people know when the marriage actually takes legal effect. If the only thing you know about getting married is to have a dreamy wedding at your favorite venue, please continue reading. You may be surprised how many are under the impression that they are married when they actually are not, especially the individuals who has gone through the religious wedding.
First, you and your partner need to meet the requirement to get married. You need to be at least 16 years old to get married in Ontario. Under 18 years old, you will need written consent from both your parents. You can get consent forms where you get a marriage licence.
If you meet the age requirement, you and your partner can apply for a marriage license or a banns form that you get from a church when you publicly announce your commitment during a divine service (a church publishes this declaration, called “the publication of banns”).
Within 90 days of the marriage license issuance, the parties need to have the marriage take place. Depending on your religious belief, you can choose to have a civil marriage or a religious marriage. In a religious marriage, recognized religious official marries you. You want to make sure the religious official is authorized to perform a wedding. You can verify whether the person is authorized by checking the Ontario government website. In a civil marriage, a judge, justice of the peace or authorized municipal clerk marries you, often at a local municipal office or city hall.
During the marriage, the person who is authorized to perform the wedding will ask you and your partner to sign in front of two witnesses on the marriage license. The authorized official then will sign off the record of solemnization of marriage to certify that parties were married on a certain day at a certain location. The official will then submit the completed and signed marriage license to Service Ontario to register the marriage.
Once the marriage is registered, the parties can apply for marriage certificate. You need a marriage certificate to show legal proof you are married, apply for certain social benefits, settle an estate and change a last name.
It should be noted that if the person who performed your marriage is not authorized, the marriage will not be valid as no marriage can be registered. Where it appears to the Minister that any person registered as authorized to solemnize marriage has ceased to possess the qualifications entitling him or her to be so registered, or for any other cause, the Minister may cancel the registration. To discuss your file confidentially please contact one of our experienced Immigration lawyers today.
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