Partnership of acquests

Partnership of acquests is both a matrimonial regime and a civil union regime.

Under this regime, each spouse:

  • administers his or her own private property, of all categories;
  • pays his or her own debts, except those contracted for the day-to-day needs of the family.

Couples without a contract 

Before your marriage or civil union ceremony, did you and your spouse sign a marriage contract or civil union contract? If not, your regime is the partnership of acquests, which has been the default legal regime in Québec since July 1, 1970.

You and your spouse can still sign a marriage contract if you wish, in order to:

  • choose another matrimonial regime;
  • adapt the regime of partnership of acquests to your specific needs.

Categories of property

Under the regime, your property belongs to one of two categories:

  • acquests;
  • private property.

Each spouse owns acquests and private property, which he or she administers alone.


In general, acquests are anything acquired during your marriage or civil union, including:

  • earnings;
  • investment or work income;
  • property purchased with wages or income.

If you cannot prove whether property belongs to you or your spouse, it is an acquest.

Private property

Your private property is everything you possessed when your marriage or civil union began, plus:

  • property received by succession or gift during the marriage or civil union;
  • property acquired to replace private property, and any related insurance payments received, during the marriage or civil union;
  • rights or benefits devolved under a contract, a retirement or annuity plan, or a personal insurance plan;
  • your clothing, personal papers and wedding ring;
  • the instruments required for your occupation.

In addition, some rights are considered to be personal property, such as your right to receive:

  • a support payment;
  • a disability pension;
  • other benefits of the same kind.

Partition of property

Under a partnership of acquests, each spouse retains his or her own private property, while acquests are shared equally between the spouses.

After partitioning your family patrimony, you must divide the rest of your property in accordance with your matrimonial regime.


If the total of your acquests is a negative amount, you or your spouse may renounce the partition. 

However, even if you renounce your share of your spouse’s acquests, your spouse can still receive half of your acquests.

Last update: April 6, 2023


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