MATRIMONIAL REGIMES IN QUEBEC

At the time of the divorce, it is not only important to discuss custody, support and the division of the Family Patrimony. The parties must also proceed with the dissolution of their Matrimonial regime.

The Civil Code of Quebec (CCQ) outlines the 3 matrimonial regimes in force in Quebec, namely Partnership of Acquests, Separation as to Property and Community of Property.

Each couple who chooses to be either married or in a civil union is subject to a matrimonial regime that they can confirm by virtue of a notarized act prior to their marriage or civil union or decide to be subject to the legal regime in force in Quebec at the time of their marriage or civil union.

It is also possible to modify your matrimonial regime after your marriage or civil union should circumstances warrant such a modification and in order to do so, your previous matrimonial regime must be dissolved.

PARTNERSHIP OF ACQUESTS

(articles 448 à 484 Code Civil du Québec)

This matrimonial regime is the present default legal regime and applies to all married couples or couples who have entered into a civil union and have not preceded their union with the signature of a marriage contract.

The matrimonial regime is comprised of property divided into 2 categories, namely the ACQUESTS and the PRIVATE PROPERTY of the parties. The acquests consists of all the property not declared to be Private Property of the parties. This is mainly fruits and revenues derived from Private property (with some exception) and also the revenues collected by the parties during the regime form their work..

A general glimpse into what Private property consists of is as follows: property brought into the marriage or civil union, property which devolved to one of the parties by gift or succession (inclusive of the fruits and revenues that emerge from said property), property acquired to replace private property of the party and any insurance indemnity associated to same, clothing and personal documents and jewelry of the party (inclusive of wedding ring), instruments required by the party for their occupation (in some cases compensation may apply).

The Partnership of Acquests exists so long as it is not dissolved by the death of a party, judgment of divorce, nullity of the marriage, a modification of the regime or absence of one of the parties.  The court may decide that the dissolution of the matrimonial regime can be retroactive to the date the parties ceased cohabitation

SEPARATION AS TO PROPERTY

 (Articles 485 à 491 du Code Civil du Québec)

This matrimonial regime consists of the parties establishing via a marriage contract that all property in their respective names at the time of the marriage or civil union remains their property and they have the full administration of same.  This includes all revenues and fruits of their labour.

The only exception in the matrimonial regime is property which is unable to be established as belonging to one party or the other. It is deemed that both are equal owners and as such separated accordingly

It is also important to keep in mind however, that regardless of having entered into a marriage contract and having chosen the matrimonial regime of Separate as to Property, the rules associated with the division of the Family Patrimony are duly applicable.

COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY

Parties married prior to April 2nd, 1981 are subject to the rules of the matrimonial regime of Community of Property unless they have since signed a marriage contract. It can still be chosen by couples when they sign a notarial marriage or civil union contract, provided they complete it with clauses borrowed from the regime of partnership of acquests”. More information about this regime can be obtained at http://www4.gouv.qc.ca/en/Portail/Citoyens/Evenements/separation-divorce/Pages/regimes-matrimoniaux-union-civile.aspx#.

For more information on Matrimonial Regimes and also Family Patrimony rules, please do not hesitate to communicate with our office.

Ofelia Lamanna, attorney

 

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