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Автор Тема: Gold diggers аттакают доверчевых миллионеров  (Прочитано 1550 раз)

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« : 28 Февраль 2008, 18:47:33 »
MONTREAL — A Montreal woman is seeking $50-million and alimony payments from her wealthy ex, arguing she deserves the same rights as a former wife even though the pair lived together without getting married.

She's fighting a constitutional challenge that would rewrite the rules on couples who shack up but forgo marriage - a trend that is especially widespread among Quebeckers, the Canadian champions of common-law unions.

"There are two classes in Quebec - married women with conventional benefits, and second-class common-law spouses who end up having to fend for themselves," says one of the woman's lawyers, Anne-France Goldwater.

The woman, who can't be identified under Quebec law, enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle with her affluent ex, surrounded by chauffeurs, cooks and servants. The couple lived together for 10 years and had three children.

They split up and began legal proceedings in 2002 - "a fairy tale that ended badly," in the words of a Quebec judge.

The man today pays considerable child support, but the woman is seeking $56,000 a month for herself in addition to a lump sum of $50-million.

"She started the relationship at a very young age; she lived with him for many years," said lawyer Marie-Hélène Dubé, who also represents the plaintiff. "She got accustomed to a certain very high lifestyle, which she will never be able to afford on her own."

The case could have wide-ranging repercussions in Quebec, where 35 per cent of couples live together without tying the knot. In the rest of Canada, the rate is 13.5 per cent.

Under Quebec's Civil Code, live-in partners who separate don't have the same rights or financial benefits as married couples who split. And they have even fewer legal safeguards than such couples in other provinces.

Some legal experts say Quebec legislators deliberately chose to give common-law couples the freedom to forgo the obligations of marriage; Quebec feminists even supported the move, arguing that it gave women freedom of choice.

That's the position of the wealthy businessman, his lawyers say.

"The position of our client is that he and his spouse had the right to make the choice they made not to get married," said Pierre Bienvenu, one of the defendant's lawyers. "We're not hiding behind the law, we're simply acting in accordance to the law."

Despite Quebeckers' distinct habits when it comes to cohabitating, most are unaware they would not get the same benefits as married spouses if they separated. A survey by the Quebec Chamber of Notaries found that more than half of live-in spouses believe they have the same legal rights after separation as married couples.

"People are under the impression they're protected while they're not," said Denis Marsolais, president of the notaries' group. "Some have no protection out of choice, and some have no protection because they don't know the law."

The survey found that only one in five common-law couples in Quebec sign contracts to protect their rights and assets.

Ms. Goldwater is challenging the constitutionality of Quebec's Civil Code, as well as Canadian marriage laws, which she argues discriminate against live-in couples because they restrict the definition of marriage to a "lawful union" of two people.

"Common-law couples are being left out of the definition without regard for the quality of the relationship they've entered into," Ms. Goldwater said.

Ms. Goldwater is seeking to lift the restrictions on revealing the two former spouses' identities when she argues her constitutional case.


счастье  это  бабочка   которая   неизбежно  ускользает   пока  ты  гонишся  за  ней,  но  если  замрешь,  то  она садится  тебе  на  плечо,проверено  уже
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