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The legal underwear: the marriage

[:fr]One knee resting on the floor, his hand outstretched and the big question uttered with his lips, his breath cut … then the answer. She ends up giving up a “Yes” without really understanding what just happened.

Once the announcement is made to family members, or even published on social networks, the process starts: quickly find a room, the photographer, identify a season, a date, determine where the ceremony will take place and the reception etc.
Without realizing it, a legal process is taking place.

Choice of ceremony
First, the couple will need to determine if they want a religious or civil ceremony . In Quebec, unlike France, for example, both ceremonies produce the same legal effects. Simply choose a duly accredited official to ensure that all formalities are respected.

Celebrant’s choice

The recognized celebrants in Quebec are as follows:

  • Notaries
  • Clerks (or Deputy Clerks) of the Superior Court
  • Mayors, municipal councilors, borough councilors and other municipal officials (if the marriage is celebrated in their municipality)
  • Any other person who asks the Minister of Justice (friend, family member, family member, etc.) (under certain conditions)
  • Ministers of religion such as priests

The celebrant must then meet the couple to obtain the information necessary for the marriage (names, age, addresses, marital status, etc.). The celebrant will have to make sure that future spouses are over the age of 18, are not bound by the bonds of marriage and that their consent is free and enlightened. Finally, the celebrant will publish the banns at least 20 days before the date of the wedding. This is a notice containing the personal information of future spouses and the expected date of marriage.

Choice of matrimonial regime
It is also at this time that the couple will determine the matrimonial regime applicable to their union, the system of separation of property or partnership of acquests. In the absence of choice in a notarial marriage contract, the partnership of acquests will apply to the spouses. This choice is essential because it will determine the effects of the division of property in the event of separation or the death of one of the two spouses. It is strongly advised to consult a notary at this stage to know his rights and obligations.

Grand Day Procedure
Finally, on the day of the ceremony, the wedding must be celebrated in front of the selected celebrant as well as two witnesses . The officiant will read you some articles of the Civil Code of Quebec as to the rights and obligations of the spouses. Once the articles have been read and the vows exchanged, the celebrant will ask you if you will accept to take your partner as husband in order to validate your respective consents . After the traditional “Yes, I want it”, the celebrant will declare the married couple and have the spouses sign, as well as the two witnesses, the marriage declaration . This declaration, written proof of the marriage, will then be transmitted by the officiant to the registrar of civil status within 30 days. The latter will draw up the marriage certificate in order to register it in the state registers.

Once the declaration is signed, you are then considered married in the eyes of the state and society – so that all the legal mechanisms produce their effects (tax, inheritance, property sharing, etc.).

Infographie - Les dessous juridique du mariage par Brunet et Associés[:]