Basic principles of matrimonial law

Important Notice

Please consult Newsletter number 32, Amendments to the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans effective 4 January 2018, as well as division V – Transfer of benefits between spouses This link will open in a new window. of the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans, to find out the rules for partition applicable to spouses in a civil union, the changes to the payment methods applicable to the former spouse, and the calculation of member benefits after partition.

A knowledge of the basic principles of matrimonial law is essential for administrators who must fulfil tasks related to the partition of benefits in a pension plan.

These basic principles relate to:

General information

The Civil Code provides that for the purposes of family patrimony, no one may contravene the rules of valuation and partition provided for in specific laws, such as the Supplemental Pension Plans Act.

When a marriage ends, the value of certain property belonging to the spouses must be determined and possibly shared. This is the case when there is a separation from bed and board, divorce, civil annulment of marriage or death.

The pension plan is part of the family patrimony, unless:

  • the dissolution of the marriage is caused by the death of one of the spouses and
  • the plan is subject to or created by a law which grants a death benefit to the surviving spouse.

Since the Supplemental Pension Plans Act grants a death benefit to the surviving spouse, there is no valuation or partition following the death of a member or his or her spouse.

For more information

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