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The marriage in the province of Quebec

Marriage shall be contracted openly, in the presence of two witnesses, before a competent officiant. Marriage may be contracted only between a man and a woman expressing openly their free and enlightened consent.

Every clerk or deputy clerk of the Superior Court designated by the Minister of Justice is competent to solemnize marriage.

In addition, every minister of religion authorized to solemnize marriage by the religious society to which he belongs is competent to do so, provided that he is resident in Quebec, that he carries on the whole or part of his ministry in Quebec, that the existence, rites and ceremonies of his confession are of a permanent nature and that he is authorized by the minister responsible for civil status.

Any minister of religion not resident but living temporarily in Quebec may also be authorized to solemnize marriage in Quebec for such time as the minister responsible for civil status determines.

In the territory defined in an agreement concluded between the Government and a Mohawk community, the persons designated by the Minister of Justice and the community are also competent to solemnize marriages.

No minister of religion may be compelled to solemnize a marriage to which there is any impediment according to his religion and to the discipline of the religious society to which he belongs.

Before the solemnization of a marriage, publication shall be effected by means of a notice posted up, for twenty days before the date fixed for the marriage, at the place where the marriage is to be solemnized.

At the time of the publication or of the application for a dispensation, the spouses shall be informed of the advisability of a premarital medical examination.

The publication sets forth the name and domicile of each of the intended spouses, and the date and place of birth of each. The correctness of these particulars is confirmed by a witness of full age.

The officiate may, for a serious reason, grant a dispensation from publication.

If a marriage is not solemnized within three months from the twentieth day after publication, the publication shall be renewed.

Any interested person may oppose the solemnization of a marriage between persons incapable of contracting it.

A minor may oppose a marriage alone. He may also act alone as defendant.

Before proceeding with a marriage, the officiant ascertains the identity, age and marital status of the intended spouses.

The officiant may not solemnize the marriage unless:

  • the intended spouses are at least sixteen years of age and, in the case of minors, the officiant has ascertained that the person having parental authority or, as the case may be, the tutor consents to the solemnization of the marriage;
  • all the formalities have been completed and the dispensations, if any, have been granted;
  • the intended spouses are free from any previous marriage bond;
  • neither spouse is, in relation to the other, an ascendant, a descendant, a brother or a sister.

In the presence of the witnesses, the officiant reads articles 392 to 396 to the intended spouses.

He requests and receives, from each of the intended spouses personally, a declaration of their wish to take each other as husband and wife. He then declares them united in marriage.

The officiant draws up the declaration of marriage and sends it without delay to the registrar of civil status.

The clerk or his deputy solemnizes the marriage according to the rules prescribed by the Minister of Justice and, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, collects the duties fixed by regulation of the Government from the intended spouses.

The registrar of civil status is informed of every grant or revocation of authorization by the minister responsible for civil status to solemnize marriage so that he may make the proper entries in a register.

Where a minister of religion authorized by the minister responsible for civil status to solemnize marriage is unable to act or dies, the religious society to which he belonged informs the registrar of civil status so that he may strike off the authorization.

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These documents are not legal opinions.

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