Quebec, "Lola" and living common-law

Should common-law couples be treated the same by the law as married spouses? The Supreme Court of Canada will decide in January 2012

August 24, 2011 | by Nelson Peters
PDF:  Quebec, "Lola" and living common-law


  1. Since children are involved in the proceedings a publication ban has been issued, with the court using pseudonyms for the respective parties.
  2. Author’s translation: “Historiquement, les conjoints vivant en union de fait ont constitué un groupe désavantagé.” para. 86, Droit de la famille — 102866, 2010 QCCA 1978 (CanLII)
  3. “Starting conjugal life in a common-law relationship, as opposed to a marriage, sharply increases the probability of this first union ending in separation. And whether the common-law partners eventually marry or not makes little difference: the risk of separation is just as high.” Le Bourdais, C., Neill, G., and Turcotte, P. (2000). The changing face of conjugal relationships. Canadian Social Trends, no. 56. p. 15. Retrieved August 16 from
  4. Mitchell, P.J. (2009). Connecting parental marital status with teen attitudes and behaviours. Ottawa: Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. Retrieved July 28, 2011 from:
  5. Walberg, R. and Mrozek, A. (2009). Private choices, public costs: How failing families cost us all. Ottawa: Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. Retrieved August 15, 2011 from