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Did you know that it is possible to solemnize a civil mariage before a notary?

Catherine and Samuel wish to accomplish a project that has been dear to their hearts for a long time: Get married. The birth of their first child two years ago forced the couple to revise their plans, and – by mutual agreement – they decided to put off this cherished project until a later date.
Preparations are now well underway, and Catherine and Samuel agree that they do not want to get married at a church. However, they cannot agree on where the wedding ceremony should take place. For his part, Samuel wants to get married at the courthouse, as this will be the simplest way. As for Catherine, she dreams of a romantic outdoor ceremony with her family and friends. After some research, Catherine learns that the clerks of the Superior Court cannot celebrate a wedding outside the courthouse, except in very particular situations.

Did you know that it is possible to solemnize a civil marriage ceremony before a notary? Indeed, since 2002, notaries have the power to celebrate unions and civil marriages. Unlike the clerks of the court, notaries can celebrate weddings outside their office, at a location that appeals to the future spouses. Nevertheless, the chosen location must respect the solemnity of the celebration. At the ceremony, the notary reads to the future spouses, in the presence of witnesses, specific articles of the Civil Code of Quebec concerning the rights and duties of spouses. Other aspects of the ceremony can be adapted to the spouses’ particular demands. For instance, if Catherine and Samuel want, they could plan a moment during the ceremony for the exchange of vows.

Moreover, the choice of a notary to solemnize the act can also be helpful for getting legal advice on family patrimony, matrimonial regimes and marriage contracts. It is important to specify that a marriage contract must be made by notarial act, on pain of nullity. Marriage involves several legal consequences and the advice of a professional on the matter may be wise.

If you face such a situation or need advice, please contact our notary.