Tag Archives: common law spouses


The highly publicized case known as Eric v. Lola reached its pinnacle on January 25, 2013. In a Judgment rendered by a divided bench, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered judgement in favour of “Eric”, recognizing the constitutional validity of the existing legal treatment of “de facto” or “common law” spouses in Quebec (Quebec (Attorney General) v. A, 2013 SCC 5).

Contrary to all other Canadian provinces, common law spouses in Quebec do not enjoy the legal protections afforded to married or civil union spouses upon the breakdown of their relationship, such as the partition of the family patrimony and partnership of acquests, the right to claim a compensatory allowance, and most notably to request spousal support. Historically, the Quebec legislature justified this distinction under the guise of respecting the freedom of choice of non-married spouses who did not wish to be subject to the rights and obligations associated with marriage (or civil union).

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