Recoding Family Law

Toward a Theory of Relationships of Economic and Emotional Interdependency in the Civil Code of Québec


  • Régine Tremblay University of British Columbia



        This article proposes a new conceptual framework for parent-child and adult relationships in the Civil Code of Québec based on the theory of relationships of economic and emotional interdependency. It puts forward a new théorie générale for relationships in Quebec civil law. It argues that the Code should concentrate on relationships of economic and emotional interdependency, irrespective of their form or of their fulfillment of formalities. Their content and qualities should be the law’s object, hence allowing for a functional account of families and personal lives. Doing so would require a recodification of economic and emotional relationships in the Code, to provide a more meaningful legal framework addressing families and personal lives. Fundamentally, the hope is to shift the normative content of family law in Quebec private law from “the family” to relationships, and to take a stance against family law exceptionalism.