You and your de facto spouse both have rights, and under some laws you are considered as a couple. These laws include those dealing with:

  • employment assistance (welfare);
  • legal aid; 
  • income tax;
  • the Québec Pension Plan;
  • industrial accidents.

You and your de facto spouse are entitled to receive a death benefit, on certain conditions, if one of you dies:

  • in a road accident;
  • in an industrial accident;
  • as the result of a crime;
  • during an act of good citizenship.

You and your de facto spouse are also entitled to consent to care for the other spouse, if he or she is unable to give consent (as the result of an accident or disability, etc.).

Under some laws, your status as a de facto spouse will also be considered to establish whether you are entitled to receive benefits or measures.

If you suffer discrimination

No person may discriminate against you because you are a de facto spouse. In Québec, your rights and freedoms are protected under the:

  • Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms;
  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  • Canadian Human Rights Act; 
  • Canadian Bill of Rights.

If you believe you have suffered discrimination because of your civil status, you should contact the organizations responsible for the application of the statutes listed.

Last update: April 6, 2023


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