Anthony Layton MBA, CIM

Chairman & CEO, Portfolio Manager

Peter Guay MBA, CFA

Portfolio Manager
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Matrimonial Regimes & How They Affect Your Finances

February 20, 2018 - 0 comments

What are marriage or matrimonial regimes? A matrimonial regime sets the rules for managing property and debts accumulated during marriage and how they will be divided in case of divorce or if one spouse passes away. There are essentially two marriage regimes in Quebec: Partnership of Acquests (the default regime) and Separation as to property. There is actually a third regime, but you have to have married before 1970 for it to apply, so we’ll ignore it for the purpose of these videos. Partnership of Acquests, the default regime, and the most common, applies to all marriages that took place without a marriage contract after July 1, 1970.

Partnership of Acquests means that any and all assets acquired during the marriage, that don’t fall into the Family Patrimony, and are not gifts or inheritances, are considered to be Acquests. Under the default regime, the value of the acquests is divided 50-50 between the spouses at the end of the marriage.

While we all hope for the happily ever after, the fact is, people get divorced, choose to end their civil unions or, inevitably, one partner eventually passes away. 

Now, regardless of the regime you marry under, and whether or not you have children, the Family Patrimony rules apply. The matrimonial regime you choose only applies to the assets that are not covered by the Family Patrimony and are not Private Property.

The reason for the Family Patrimony is that it guarantees the economic equality of the spouses by giving each a fair share of the family assets. Got all that? 

Marriage = Family Patrimony (Created automatically, applies to everyone) + Matrimonial Regime (Created automatically, spouses can choose their regime)


In short, if you didn’t own it before the marriage, or inherit it during the marriage, it’s probably going to be split 50/50 if your marriage falls apart.


By: Peter Guay with 0 comments.
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