CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

This article studies marital separations of wealthy Quebec couples in order to discuss the way they use and experience legality. It analyzes ten ethnographic cases: these are made from the observation of Court hearings and client-lawyer encounters, and from interviews with legal professionals; they are completed by a hundred judicial records. Their resources, their lifestyles, along with the empathic and technical support of lawyers, help wealthy couples to assert their rights. Significantly, these highly unequal couples manage to play with gender relations: fathers are more likely to get physical custody of children, and wives to receive recognition for their domestic commitment. Gender inequalities remain, however: women have to make more concessions than men.

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