I am newly married, do I have to change my last name?

Did you know that as a parent, you can not give to your child any name you wish? In fact, you can not give a first name or last names to your child that tend to ridiculous or which mat discredit the child. Therefore, a first name such as “Spatule” has been refused by the Court.*

The article 393 of the Civil Code of Quebec states that in marriage, both spouses retain their respective names, and exercise their respective civil rights under those names. According to the article 391 of the Civil Code of Quebec, in no case may spouses derogate from this disposition. However, it happened that the Court decided that the Directeur de l’état civil had the ability to authorize a spouse to take the last name of his husband or wife when he or she had serious motives.** Therefore, it happened in jurisprudence that the Court granted a motion when the person was already using that name in her social and professional environment since the marriage, which was celebrated fifteen (15) years before.

Do you wish to change your name or modify the last name of your child? We are inviting you to contact us or to take a look at the website of the Directeur de l’état civil at : http://www.etatcivil.gouv.qc.ca/en/change-name.html

Written by Me Roxane Trudel-Pigeon, Associate attorney

*Lavigne vs. Beaucaire, [1996] R.J.Q. 1970 (C.S.)

** Gratton vs. Directeur de l’état civil, 2010 QCCS 3433, par. 10