Common-law couples don’t need a court decision to make their separation official. But important issues arise when they break up, such as child support, living arrangements for their children and questions about money and property. If they can’t agree on these issues, they can ask a court to decide for them.
What court should common-law partners go to? It depends on whether their requests involve their children.
Requests Involving Children
Requests for child custody or child support must be made to the Superior Court. If the couple also wants a court to decide questions about property or money, they can make these requests at the same time. They can include all requests in the same document.
Requests Involving Money or Property
For requests involving money or property, the court they must go to depends on the value of the property or the amount of money requested.
- $15,000 or less: Court of Quebec, Small Claims Division (small claims court)
- less than $85,000: Court of Quebec, Civil Division
- $85,000 or more: Superior Court, Civil Division
The court treats these requests in the same way it treats a request for money or property between two people who are not in a relationship with one another. The requests are not handled from a family law point of view.
Here are examples of requests involving property or money that common-law couples might make:
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.