REMOTE NOTARIAL DEED: Since April 1st, notaries are allowed to sign a notarized document remotely. This is not compulsory and notaries are free to use this additional tool or not. Consult the steps and application procedures.
CHAMBRE DES NOTAIRES OFFICES: The Chamber's offices are open, but due to the circumstances related to the coronavirus some services are offered remotely. Additional delays apply for requests for searches in Registers of Testamentary Dispositions and Mandates, as well as for requests for a Certificate of Quality and Authenticity.


Home > Families and Couples > Marriage, civil union and common law union > What are the effects of marriage and civil unions?

What are the effects of marriage and civil unions?

Respective responsibilities
All spouses – opposite- or same-sex – have the same rights and obligations, whether they are entering a civil or religious marriage or a civil union. They owe each other respect, fidelity, succour and assistance. Each spouse retains his or her given name and surname after the marriage or civil union. Both equally share the moral and material responsibility for the family and exercise parental authority together.

Obligations of marriage
Husbands, wives and civil union spouses are subject to the same rules on the effects of marriage. Whether they are married or in a civil union, spouses have the same rights and obligations. The marriage provisions on contribution to household expenses, protection of the family residence, partition of the family patrimony and compensatory allowances also apply to civil unions. Civil union and married spouses also qualify as legal heirs if one spouse dies without a will.

Legal matrimonial regime
Married or civil union spouses are automatically subject to the regime of partnership of acquests (or the "legal regime"). They can, however, choose the regime of separation of property in their marriage or civil union contract. This contract must be signed before a notary.

A couple's commitment to one another is specifically reflected in the legal documents they sign. It is therefore very important to make the right choices, but first you need to know what choices are available to you. Do not hesitate to discuss this with your notary. He or she can help you analyze your situation and advise you in your choice of an appropriate matrimonial or civil union regime.