Eric versus Lola – Alimony for the ex-spouse

Does the case of Éric vs. Lola applies to my situation?

  • Summary of the contentious file of Eric versus Lola, 2010 QCCA 1078 :

Lola was claiming from her ex-spouse an alimony of $56,000 for herself and a lump sum payment of 50 million dollars. She invoqued the inconstitutionality of certain articles of the Civil Code of Québec as a motive for discrimination between common-law and married couples.

On July 16 2009, the Supreme Court rejected Lola’s request. However, on November 3rd 2010, the Appeal Court reversed in part the trial judge’s decision and declared Article 585 of the Civil Code of Québec unconstitutional, as it relates to the question of alimony for married couples only. The Appeal Court does not however intervene in family property between common-law couples. The Appeal Court suspended for a period of 12 months the declaration of invalidity of the Article 585 of the Civil Code of Québec in order to allow time to the legislator to modify the article to include common-law couples as well. The decision has been appealed before the Supreme Court of Canada; nine judges were present at the January 18, 2012 hearing. The matter is pending until the Supreme Court of Canada renders a decision.


  • First of all, the Civil Code of Québec now stipulates that only married ex-spouses can benefit from alimony.
  • Secondly, the ex-spouse must experience a precarious financial situation in comparison to his or her previous living standard.
  • Thirdly, it must be proven that this precarious financial situation is due to the marriage breakdown.
  • Usually, someone who obtains alimony is a person who had a job during the marriage life who, in a common accord, decided to end his or her career to dedicate his or her time to the children’s education and the household needs.
  • In the case of a person who, at the time of the divorce, has not had work experience for many years, who is not up-to-date with the new technology and who has no professional contacts anymore, it is very difficult for that person to be financially self-sufficient.