After your marriage or civil union ceremony, you and your spouse are bound to each other in a matrimonial regime or civil union regime, which establishes the rules on how your property will be:
- administered during your marriage or civil union;
- divided between you after your marriage or civil union ends, except for the property in your family patrimony.
The default legal regime in Québec is the regime of partnership of acquests. However, if you sign a marriage contract or civil union contract with your spouse, you can use it to choose another regime, or adapt an existing regime to your specific needs. You are entitled to amend your regime at any time.
Couples without a contract
If you and your spouse have not signed a marriage contract or civil union contract, your property will be governed by the default legal regime in Québec, which is partnership of acquests.
However, if you married outside Québec, your property may be governed by another regime. If you were not living in Québec at the time of your marriage, your property will be governed by the rules in effect in the place where you married. This could be Ontario or France, for example, if:
In Québec, almost half of all couples do not sign a contract with a notary before their marriage or civil union ceremony.
Types of regime
In Québec there are three regimes:
Whichever regime you choose, you must still comply with the legal provisions on: