I got married down south, is my marriage valid in Quebec?

Did you know that if even if an impersonator of Elvis was the competent officiant at your wedding in Las Vegas, United States of America, most likely your marriage will be admitted as valid in Quebec?

Legal marriages celebrated in most countries are admitted as valid in Quebec and in Canada. A special attention should be given to the essential and formal validity criteria. In fact, according to article 3088 Civil Code of Quebec, spouses are submitted to the essential validity criteria of their respective domicile. Example given, a Quebecer shall have the legal age to contract a marriage, which is 16 years old. As for the formal validity criteria, in other words the “container”, the marriage shall be regulated by the law of country where it was celebrated.

However, you shall be caution. No one can avoid the application of the family patrimony regulations edict(ed) by the Civil Code of Quebec by getting married outside Quebec if the spouses have their domicile in Quebec.

You shall also know that even though the marriage was celebrated outside Quebec, the parties could demand their divorce in Quebec if one of them reside in Quebec since at least one (1) year immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding.

Written by Me Roxane Trudel-Pigeon, Associate attorney