LE CODE CIVIL DU QUEBEC ET LES CONCUBINS: UN MARIAGE DISCRET

Authors

  • DOMINIQUE GOUBAU
  • PIERRE CIOTOLA

Abstract

Traditionally, cohabitation outside marriage was not to be found in the Civil Code. However, following the lead of social law, civil law no longer ignores completely this form of conjugal life. Québec's new Civil Code thus recognizes that a common law relationship may have certain effects. Yet this recognition in slight and rather bashful. The hesitation on this issue is the result of the legislator's wish to respect individual preferences : only those who actually choose to be wed are to be submitted to the legal constraints of marriage. But cohabitation can often develop a parental dimension. And by decreeing the principle of equality amongst all children whatever the circumstances of their birth, the Civil Code by the same token acknowledges that all parents, whatever their matrimonial status, have the same responsibilities towards their children. The following text points out however a number of enduring inequalities which deny children born out of wedlock the same rights as other children, as in the case of the presumption of paternity and in the case of the protection of the family residence. The author concludes that the parental dimension of cohabitation must not be ignored in debating whether or not a status for cohabitants should be created and introduced in the Civil Code.

Keywords:

Family Law

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Published

1995-09-01

Issue

Section

Legal Commentary

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