Oh my Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola

Eleven years after a woman known as Lola took her billionaire ex, known as Eric, to court demanding alimony from a failed common-law relationship, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against allowing the same protections for common-law spouses as for married couples upon breaking-up.

This decision is one that is said will have “far-reaching implications for millions of Quebecers” as one-third of couples in Quebec live in common-law relationships, more than in any other province, and more than half of all children in Quebec are born out of wedlock. Quebec is also the only province in Canada without any provisions for spousal support when a common-law relationship ends.

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ultimately found that “marriage is a deliberate choice that must remain distinct from common-law partnerships in regards to its rights and obligations”.

In short, Lola is not entitled to any spousal support, and she cannot get any portion of Eric’s substantial assets.

Lola and Eric have three children together, and receives quite a hefty sum for child support. However, Lola argued that she deserved the same rights as divorcing husbands or wives and that Quebec’s civil code provisions were “discriminatory against common-law spouses – many of whom are left destitute when their unions implode”.

A court ruling back in 2006 compelled him to give her a car and to pay for a chauffeur, a cook and two nannies. He also buys plane tickets for the children and nannies for two trips a year, as well as a daily allowance of up to $1,000 for the holidays.  In 2010, Eric gave Lola a $2.5 million home.

Somehow I cannot see how she has been left destitute after the 2006 ruling, and the home she got from Eric in 2010. I don’t even think this woman has any comprehension of what that word means, much less care about anyone else but herself. This case was never about the larger public, or becoming an activist for the downtrodden.

Lola’s lawyers argued that “most Quebecers are unaware that in the event of a breakup they can be left with nothing”. This is completely ridiculous. Everyone I know here in Quebec is fully aware that being a common-law spouse does not entitle you to anything other than child support if a couple has children, and they are under 18. In fact, many Quebec men and women choose not to get married because they do not want to become trapped in an unjust, slow-moving, money draining system that would mean the man (in the majority of cases) would be forced to pay alimony and divide up his assets.

Marriage is indeed becoming quite rare here, especially amongst French-Canadians. Whether it’s a cultural phenomenon or not, there are fewer Quebecers looking to get married, and they are quite vocal and unashamed about admitting it.

In a narrow 5-4 SCC decision, chief justice Beverley McLaughlin wrote:

Those who choose to marry choose the protections–but also the responsibilities–associated with that status – Those who choose not to marry avoid these state-imposed responsibilities and protections.

Lola’s lawyer said that “Lola devoted her life to raising children and felt entitled, as divorced people do, to a share of assets”.

When entering into a relationship, both Lola and Eric knew the law and were aware that not getting married meant that she would not be entitled to anything should their relationship end. That was the choice they both made and agreed to. She does not have the right to demand that the law be changed just because her lavish lifestyle will now be much less lavish.

Look lady, you already got more out of this guy than most married people ever would upon a divorce. So stop whining and suck it up. I am sure that your 2.5 million dollar home, chauffeur, chefs, and nannies are more than sufficient for your greedy ass to survive on for the rest of your life.

I for one am glad the SCC ruled to keep Quebec’s Civil Code as is. If you want to play house and be in a long-term relationship like an adult, then you are responsible for the decisions you make. If you want to get married and the other person doesn’t, then you have the choice to leave. No one is forcing anyone one way or another.

In a release, Quebec’s Conseil du Statut de la Femme (Quebec Council for the Status of Women) expressed concerns about the judgment, questioning “whether the present family law regime corresponds to the reality of Quebec families, and saying there is a risk without guarantees that families will fall into poverty”.

This is nothing more than an attempt by the QCSF to change the current system, to force men into a corner no matter what type of long-term relationship they choose, taking away the freedom of choice people in Quebec have always had. They want replace the current system with a system that takes away the freedom of choice and which punishes mostly men when the relationship dissolves by forcing men to pay alimony and divide up his personal assets.

As it stands, the Quebec Civil Code is still open to further review. However, most Quebecers have expressed their desire to keep their freedom of choice and do not want a system that takes that from them.

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