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Legal Information/ Legal Briefs

Legal Briefs

Until 2010, these legal briefs provide examples of judgments pertaining to everyday situations. Beginning in 2012, they deal with various topics of general interest, such as rental issues, family law, human rights, civil liability, insurance, dealings between spouses and social aid. They are intended to inform and to prevent undesirable situations.


Legal Briefs 2024

Legal brief
Are childcare expenses taken into consideration in determining financial eligibility for legal aid?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Isabelle, who is the mother of one child, is about to separate. She works in housekeepingin a hospital at an annual salary of $39,000. She does not own any real estate and has$6,000 in savings in a bank account. However, she has to pay $1,750 in annual childcareexpenses for her six-year-old son. Isa more
Social Assistance - Understanding the New Basic Income ProgramThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Social assistance, social solidarity, basic income – it’s easy to get lost in the many government programs available to people experiencing difficulties.

The Quebec government has established two programs for the province’s residents who are in a precarious situation: (1) The Social Assistanc
De Facto Spouses* and financial eligibility for legal aidThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Lea and William are the parents of a 15-year-old girl named Rose. Rose chose to live with her father when her parents split up two years ago. She now wants to move in with her mother and Annabelle, her mother’s partner, but her father disagrees. Rose’s mother thus quickly makes an appointment with a lawyer at her local legal aid office.

Lea knows that in order to benefit from the services of a lawyer, she must befinancially eligible for legal aid, but she wonders whether the financial situation of Annabelle, who has been her de facto spouse for the past 18 months, will be considered in determining her eligibility.

To be financially eligible for legal aid, Lea will have to show that her income, liquid assets and other assets, as well as those of her family, do not exceed the financial eligibility levels and values determined by regulation.

According to the Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services,1 a family includes the father or mother, their de facto spouse, and the children. Lea’s family therefore consists of her partner, with whom she has been cohabiting for at least a year, and herself. As a general rule, the income, assets and liquid assets of both spouses will be taken into account when determining a person’s financial eligibility.

If the following conditions have been met, however, only the financial situation of the parent, and not that of his or her spouse, will be considered: the service requested is for the benefit of a minor child and the parent has custody of that child.

In the present situation, only one of the two conditions has been met. Lea wants to apply for legal custody of Rose, which is a service for the benefit of the child, but because she does not have custody of Rose, the first condition has not been met and the general rule will apply: her spouse’s financial situation will have to be taken into consideration.


Don’t hesitate to have your eligibility for legal aid evaluated by making an appointment at a legal aid office near you. You can also check your eligibility online here.

To find the contact information for your legal aid office, please click on the following link www.csj.qc.ca.

* A “de facto spouse” is referred to as a “common law spouse” outside Québec. People sometimes also refer to their de facto spouse as their “partner”.

1 CQLR, c. A-14.

Legal brief *
April  2024
Number  03
Text prepared by   Me Charlène Perron
* The information set out in this document is not a legal interpretation.
The masculine is used to designate persons solely in order to simplify the text.
Conciliation Before the Administrative Tribunal of Québec: What Can I Expect? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Conciliation before the Administrative Tribunal of Québec (hereinafter the “ATQ”) is a type of process referred to as alternative dispute resolution.

But what does that actually mean?
Can a police complaint be withdrawn?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Perhaps you filed a police complaint against someone a few days ago and now wish to withdraw it. You should know that it may not be possible to do so.

First, it’s important to understand that when police receive a complaint, theygenerally conduct an investigation to gather as much evidence as
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017