February 2013

Breaking news: Lola's saga comes to an end

Almost one year to the day after the hearing before the nation's highest court, the Supreme Court of Canada ended Lola's saga, ruling in favour of Eric in a 300-page judgment handed down today.

In a divided decision, the Court decided that the system set out for common law spouses in Québec was entirely constitutional. The Supreme Court agreed with Superior Court Justice Carole Hallée, who had reached the conclusion. The Québec Court of Appeal had overturned her decision.

Québec will therefore remain one of the few Canadian provinces with no legislative provisions for spousal support and division of property in the case of separation for common law couples. The Court stated that couples were free to choose to live as common law spouses and could therefore not be imposed the same rights and responsibilities as married people.

We will assess this historical ruling in an upcoming edition.

PFD Family Law