Legal Separation as to Bed & Board

While in the past many people in Quebec took separation proceedings, it is now quite infrequent, as divorce proceedings are generally chosen.


A legal separation can be requested by either one or both spouses. For a legal separation to be granted, the will to live together must be undermined to the extent that further living together would be intolerable. A legal separation can be granted if at the time of the application the spouses are living apart or where one spouse has failed to perform an obligation resulting from the marriage according to the law.


Some people think that by obtaining a legal separation, after a year they will automatically be divorced. This is not exact.


Separation proceedings allow the spouses to ask the Court to have the family patrimony partitioned and their matrimonial regime liquidated. Issues such as who will remain in the family residence, child custody and access rights, child support, spousal supportcan also be determined in a separation.


As a result of a legal separation, spouses are no longer obliged to live together. However it does not break the bonds of marriage and if one of the parties later wants a divorce, divorce proceedingswill be required at which time matters such as spousal support may be looked at again by the Court. A spouse who is separated is still considered a spouse for purposes of inheritance.


The articles of the Civil Code of Quebec which explain what is required to obtain a separation are articles 493 to 515. The Civil Code can be accessed online via the Minister of Justice Quebec at: