Change my marital status
This page displays your existing marital status and gives you the opportunity to update your marital status
Definitions and explanations
Effective date of your marital status
This is the date your marital status began. Select the down arrow beside each box (Year, Month, Day), and choose from the list provided. This is a mandatory field.
New Marital Status
Select the down arrow and choose from the list provided. This is a mandatory field.
Selecting “Next” will advance you to the next screen on your way to updating your new marital status
Types of marital status
A person who is legally married (that is, has a marriage contract with another person) and that marriage remains intact.
This applies to a person who is not your spouse, with whom you are living in a conjugal relationship, and to whom at least one of the following situations applies. He or she:
In this definition, 12 continuous months includes any period you were separated for less than 90 days because of a breakdown in the relationship.
- has been living with you in a conjugal relationship, and this current relationship has lasted at least 12 continuous months;
- is the parent of your child by birth or adoption; or
- has custody and control of your child (or had custody and control immediately before the child turned 19 years of age) and your child is wholly dependent on that person for support
A person who was married or engaged in a common-law relationship, but whose relationship has ended following the death of their spouse or common-law partner AND who has not remarried married or entered into a common-law relationship.
A person whose marriage has ended through divorce AND who has not reconciled with their spouse or married again, or entered into a common-law relationship.
A person who has lived separate and apart from their spouse or common-law partner for a period of 90 days or more because of a breakdown in their marriage or common-law partnership.
A person who has never been married and is currently not in a common law relationship
A status of "unstated" is initiated by filing an income tax return with no marital status information indicated.
When updating your marital status, you have to follow a natural progression based on the marital status we have on file.
Examples of natural progression include the following:
- married to separated, divorced, or widowed
- common-law to married, separated, widowed, or single
- widowed to single, married or common-law
- divorced to single, married, or common-law
- separated to divorced, widowed, single, married, or common-law
- single to married or common-law
Validation and Controls (V&C) indicator appears on existing marital status
The existing marital status information that is being displayed indicates that a compliance area has reviewed and verified your marital status for that date/period. Therefore, no more changes can occur for the period previously reviewed. If more changes are required, the individual must forward their request in writing to the CRA.
CMMS - 05 You must select a marital status.
You indicated that you want to change your marital status, but you left the marital status field blank. This is a mandatory field.
CMMS - 06 The marital status you have selected is incorrect. It does not follow a natural progression.
When updating your marital status, you have to follow a natural progression based on the marital status we have on file. Please see the above section on natural progression. If you cannot follow the natural progression, you can send your request in writing.
CMMS - 07 You must select an effective date.
This is the day you started your new marital status. This is a mandatory field.
CMMS - 08 The effective date for your common-law relationship must be greater than December 31, 1991.
The CRA only recognizes common-law relationships after December 31, 1991.
CMMS - 09 You have selected a marital status of single or separated. If your previous marital status was married or common-law you must be separated or single for at least 90 days.
CRA considers an individual separated when they live separate and apart from their spouse or common-law partner for a period of 90 days or more due to a breakdown in their relationship. Separation of less than 90 days is not considered a separation for the purposes of Child and Family Benefits. Once an individual has been separated for 90 days, the effective day of their separated status is the day they started living separate and apart.
CMMS - 10 You have selected a marital status and effective date that is equal to the information currently on your file.
The information you sent is the same as what we have on file.
CMMS - 11 The effective date for your new marital status indicates that you are less than 10 years of age. The effective date of your marital status must be greater than 10 years from your date of birth.
For individuals less than 10 years of age, the CRA only recognizes the status of single.
CMMS - 16 You have selected an effective date in the future. Please correct your entry.
The CRA only accepts marital status changes up to today’s date.
CMMS - 26 You are trying to change a status which has been previously reviewed and confirmed.
If you have tried to update a marital status for a date/period that the CRA has already reviewed and verified, the system will not allow the update. So you have to send the new information in writing to the CRA.
CMMS - 27 You are trying to enter marital status change with an effective date that is not within the last three calendar years.
Individuals who have not filed a current-year return and are not Canada child tax benefits recipients can only change their marital status for the period within three years of today’s date.
CMMS - 29 You cannot make a change to an existing December 31st status.
If you want to make a change to a status with the December 31 date, you have to send your request in writing.
CMMS - 31 You have filed a current-year T1 return. Therefore, you are only allowed to update your marital status for the year in which you filed the return, up to today’s date.
Individuals who have filed a current-year return can only change their marital status for the period within the year of the return up to the date they are processing their change.
For example: The processing date is July 28, 2015, and the individual has filed a 2014 return. The individual will be allowed to update their marital status for the period from January 1, 2014 to July 28, 2015.
CMMS - 32 You cannot update your marital status using this service unless you have filed a current-year T1 return.
Individuals who are displaying a marital status of "unstated" will be allowed to change their status to a valid status if they have filed a current year return. A current year is defined as the year in which you are processing your marital status change, or the previous year.
For example: The processing date is July 28, 2015, and the individual has filed a 2014 return. The 2014 return is displaying a marital status of "unstated" as of December 31, 2014. The individual may change their marital status of "unstated" to a valid marital status as long as their valid status follows the natural progression rules.
CMMS - 33 The date entered must be after the existing date on the system.
Individuals who have not filed a current-year return must ensure that their marital status change is subsequent to the information currently being displayed on the system. A current-year is defined as the year in which you are processing your marital status change, or the previous year.
For example: The processing date is July 28, 2015, and the individual has not filed a 2014 return. The individual filed their 2013 return as married. Therefore, the marital status change must fall after December 31, 2013.
If you cannot update your marital status or receive an error message, you can submit your request in writing. If you want to speak to one of our agents, please call the helpdesk at 1-800-959-8281. Before you call, please print the error message and have it handy.
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