At 35 percent, the Province of Quebec boasts the highest percentage of common law spouses in the Country. A constitutional challenge by one Quebec woman may have a serious legal impact in the Province.
The woman, whose name cannot legally be released, separated from her wealthy common law spouse in 2003. She intends to seek a $50 million lump sum payment, in addition to spousal support of $56,000.00 a month, in 2003.
The Globe and Mail reports:
“[A Montreal Woman is] fighting a constitutional challenge that would rewrite the rules on couples who shack up but forgo marriage - a trend that is especially widespread among Quebeckers, the Canadian champions of common-law unions.We will continue to follow this case and provide updates as it develops.
"There are two classes in Quebec - married women with conventional benefits, and second-class common-law spouses who end up having to fend for themselves," says one of the woman's lawyers, Anne-France Goldwater.
…Ms. Goldwater is challenging the constitutionality of Quebec's Civil Code, as well as Canadian marriage laws, which she argues discriminate against live-in couples because they restrict the definition of marriage to a "lawful union" of two people.
"Common-law couples are being left out of the definition without regard for the quality of the relationship they've entered into," Ms. Goldwater said.
- Annie Noa Kenet Toronto