MARRIAGE - Formalities of marriage - Presumption of valid marriage - Annulment of marriage - Grounds

Law360 Canada (October 18, 2023, 6:10 AM EDT) -- Application by SS for a judgment granting an annulment of the parties’ marriage. The parties filed a joint petition seeking nullity of their marriage. The parties conceded that they went through a civil marriage ceremony as evidenced by a Registration of Marriage (RM). The parties contended that they ceased to cohabit as spouses four months after their purported marriage. The grounds for the annulment were an alleged invalid RM, namely the marriage commissioner’s failure to follow the procedural timelines and witness provisions set out in the Marriage Act (the Act). The parties contended that the RM was signed by the parties and the marriage commissioner in the absence of witnesses. The marriage commissioner subsequently submitted the RM and was accepted for registration. Apparently, SS expressed concern when she questioned the marriage commissioner regarding the legality of the marriage given the absence of witnesses. The parties did not provide any evidence whether they believe that they were validly married and subsequently came to the conclusion that their marriage was not valid upon discovering that the formalities of the Act were not complied with....
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