Joint financial management in couples: a question of married or not married ?



Belleau H, Lavallée C, Seery A. (2017). La gestion commune au sein des couples : une question de mariage ou pas?. Les Cahiers québécois de démographie, 46(1), 47-71.


In many countries we observe that married couples tend to manage their money jointly, while couples in common-law unions are more inclined to manage it separately. The aim of this article is to determine whether these differences are also present in Quebec, where free unions are widespread, and to identify variables other than marital status which may explain these differences. The study is based on an unpublished survey (n = 3246) carried out in Quebec in 2015 by Belleau et al. (2017) focusing on the economic arrangements between couples and the legal issues attached to these. The results of two logistic regression analyses confirm the existence of an explanatory model which enables us to better understand income sharing and which takes account of variables such as : the length of time lived together, presence or absence of children of the couple, being co-owners of property, and legal knowledge. The authors argue for the urgent necessity for private, social and fiscal legislation to be adapted to the real situations of couples in Quebec, no matter whether married or unmarried.