MONTREAL, March 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - In accordance with its mission
of ensuring the protection of the public, the Chambre des notaires du
Québec is launching a public information campaign inviting common-law
spouses to visit a website designed specifically for them: commonlawunion.ca. The site dispels the myths surrounding common-law unions and provides
information about the rights and responsibilities of Quebecers who have
chosen to live in this type of partnership.
The Chambre has also taken the opportunity presented by the recent
decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Éric vs. Lola to
survey Quebecers on their knowledge of the rights and obligations that
stem from common-law unions. The results* are surprising, if not shocking.
62% of respondents believe that in the event of separation, all assets
and property acquired during the course of their common-law union will
be divided equally.
58% of respondents are unaware that the lower-income spouse in a
common-law union is not entitled to alimony in the event of separation.
42% of respondents are unaware that a common-law spouse who is the sole
owner of the residence is legally entitled to sell it without the
consent of their significant other, even if he or she has contributed
financially to the residence.
81% of Quebecers who are in a common-law relationship do not have a
The Chambre commissioned a survey on the same issue in 2007.
"While over a third of couples in Québec have chosen to live in a
common-law relationship, it is quite disturbing to see that the
situation has not improved," says Jean Lambert, President of the
Chambre des notaires du Québec. "In fact, if you compare these results
with those from a similar survey conducted in 2007, you see that
cohabitation contracts are still uncommon. This is especially troubling
because the recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada has not only
generated a lot of discussion, but has also brought this issue out into
The commonlawunion.ca website provides information regarding the rights and obligations of
common-law spouses in Québec, a short knowledge quiz on the issue and a
series of solutions aimed at helping common-law partners better protect
"The best time to prepare for misfortune is when things are going well,"
Mtre Lambert adds. "In Québec, roughly one marriage in two ends in
divorce, and we have no reason to believe that it is very different
with common-law couples. People have difficulty believing that there
might be a separation or early death, but these things do happen and it
is important to prepare for such eventualities."
About the Chambre des notaires du Québec
The Chambre des notaires du Québec is the professional order that groups
more than 3,800 notaries in the province. Its main mission is to ensure
the protection of the public, which employs the services of its
members. To this end, the Chambre supervises the training and admission
of candidates to the notarial profession, as well as the ongoing
training received by practising notaries. La Chambre also controls the
practice of the profession through meticulous inspections of notarial
offices, hears and processes complaints from the public and offers a
service of conciliation and arbitration of accounts.
*Complete results of the survey are available upon request.
SOURCE: Chambre des notaires du Québec
For further information:
Director of Communications
514 879-1793, ext. 5912