Family law reform

Family law is the law that governs the legal relationships within a family and between a family and other people. It includes the rules governing marriage, adoption, child support and parental authority.

Québec’s family law has not been reformed since 1980.

In 2015, the advisory committee on family law, established by the Québec government, determined that the current law, which is built around a family model based on marriage, was no longer suited to newer and increasingly common family models (families founded by a couple in a de facto union, single-parent families, LGBTQ+ families, blended families, etc.).

In 2019, the Québec government held a round of public consultations to ask citizens about their visions of three aspects of family law:

  • Conjugal relationship, which refers to the rights and obligations between spouses during and after their union
  • Parenthood, which refers to the rights and obligations between spouses when they have a child together
  • The relationship with a step-parent, a person who can be an important figure in a child’s life.

Children first

In 2021, the Ministère de la Justice du Québec tabled in the National Assembly a first draft bill on family law reform regarding filiation that modified personality rights and civil status in the Civil Code.

It proposed measures regarding:

  • Knowing one’s origins
  • Surrogacy in and outside Québec
  • Filiation, personality rights, the capacity of persons and parental authority
  • The needs of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Domestic violence
  • Support for families in the case of a death or incapacity to give consent.

Information sheet on the bill on family law reform regarding filiation and modifying personality rights and civil status in the Civil Code (In French)

For more information on family law reform, see the Documentation tab.

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