Quebec to create ‘parental union regime’ for unmarried partners with children

Unmarried Quebec couples with children who split up will be able to divide the value of assets like houses and vehicles evenly as a “safety net” regardless of who paid for them, under a new “parental union” bill tabled by the provincial government.

The status would apply automatically to new parents who are neither married nor in a formal civil union.

The new parental union status will not encompass some family types, such as partners who are raising children together from previous relationships.

“The couple living together with a common child will be treated differently from the couple living together, each with a kid from a previous union, even though they will look very similar,” said Robert Leckey, dean of the McGill University law faculty,

Moreover, the reform doesn’t apply to couples without children.

Quebec is the only province with a French-style civil code, whereas all other provinces use common law whereby common-law relationships offer certain protection to partners, whether or not children are part of the equation.