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Separation

 

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Reasons for a separation

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Paperworks to separate

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Financial matters of a separation

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Things to consider regarding the children

PacisLexis Family Law

Separation lawyer

Separation means ending your relationship or stopping living together.

Regarding the French Law, there are differents ways and obstacles to separate depending if you’re married, in a French PACS or cohabitation (French civil partnership).

Therefore, there is different ways to end the relationship:

  • Divorce is to permanently end your marriage and you or your partner can apply.
  • PACS dissolution is to permanently end your ‘civil partnership’ and you and your partner both must send the request of dissolution to the civil service where they got ‘pacsed’.
  • Cohabitation dissolution has no obligation regarding the French Law. In some cases a damages compensation can be asked.

In the UK, if you’re married less than a year, you can’t get a divorce or dissolution yet.

You only can get a legal separation.

Separation lawyer

Reasons for a separation

What type of divorce or options I've got regarding the French law?

In France, 4 types of divorce exist:

  • Legal mutual agrement divorce (article 230 à 232 du code civil) or lawyers agreement (article 229-1 à 229-4 du code civil): a legal mutual agreement divorce regarding the French law means that both partners agreed to get a divorce but did not agree on the financial matters regarding the divorce.
  • Mutual agreement divorce : both partners agreed to divorce and also agreed on financial matters (article 233 à 234 du code civil),
  • ‘Irreparable breakdown of the marriage’ in France means no-fault divorce in other countries (article 237 à 238 du code civil). For instance, both parnters have lived apart for a while. The spouse receiving the divorce petition cannot object to the other party’s petition for a no-fault divorce. That objection itself can be viewed by Courts as an irreconcilable difference.
  • A fault-divorce (article 242 à 246 du code civil),

 

Reasons for separation are various and are based on you and your partner’s reasons (see hereafter a table showing the different options).

Marriage
Both partners want to split up
Can we separate?
Yes!
You have 2 choices:
- Mutual agreement divorce
- Lawyers divorce
One partner wish to split up as you already live apart
Can we separate?
Yes!
When you already have lived apart for more than a year, you can ask family law Courts to get divorced for 'irreparable breakdown of the marriage.'
a fault-divorce is also possible
One partner wish to split up as the other is an abuser, cheater ...
Can we separate?
Yes! a fault-divorce is based on some fault of the other spouse and could be a solution. The other solution could be a 'irreparable breakdown of the marriage.'.
One partner wish to split up without any particular reason
Can we separate?
Yes!
You need to consider a mutual agreement divorce or a 'irreparable breakdown of the marriage.'.
French Civil partnership or PACS
Both partners want to split up
Can we separate?
Yes
One partner wish to split up as you already live apart
Can we separate?
Yes
One partner wish to split up as the other is an abuser, cheater ...
Can we separate?
Yes
One partner wish to split up without any particular reason
Can we separate?
Yes
Cohabitation
Both partners want to split up
Can we separate?
Yes
One partner wish to split up as you already live apart
Can we separate?
Yes
One partner wish to split up as the other is an abuser, cheater ...
Can we separate?
Yes
One partner wish to split up without any particular reason
Can we separate?
Yes

Separation lawyer

Paperworks to get separated

Depending if you’re married, in a civil partnership or cohabitation it can be more or less difficult.

Please find below a comparison table to understand what to do to get separated
Marriage
Shall I go to family law Courts to get separated?
It depends!
For a mutual agreement with lawyers, going to Family law Courts is not compulsory
For a no-fault or fault-divorce especially with minors going to family law Courts is compulsory
What is the process?
1st scenario: mutual agreement divorce
When spouses agree to divorce their lawyers have to write a statement of divorce
When you have a child asking the Courts a hearing, a Family law judge has to agree on that statement

2nd scenario: no-fault or fault-divorce and mutual agreement: When spouses object the reasons for divorce, they have to go to Court.
A hearing with a family law judge related to the objection will happen. The Court will then will issue a decision.

Shall I get a divorce lawyer?
Yes!
In case of a fault, no-fault and mutual agreement divorce, both partners have to get their own lawyer (article 229-1 du code civil).
When both partners agree on every aspect of the divorce they can get the same lawyer
In every other situation, spouses have to get their own lawyer.
Paperworks you will need
Spouses birth certificate and French 'family book'.
Other paperworks can be needed depending on the divorce. For instance, evidence involving witnesses will be asked (adultary, abuse...)
Changes in your civil registration
Yes!
Any change in your circumstances is compulsary in your civil registration. This will allow other third parties to legally know you got divorced
When my divorce officially will end
For mutual agreement with lawyers: when filling the statement and legal advertisement.
For fault and no fault divorce: when Courts will sign off the statement
When my divorce will end regarding the law
When changes in your civil registration are complete.
How long does it take to get divorced?
Between a month and 2 years when spouses agreed on everything even the financial matters.
For a fault and no-fault divorce depending on your county and Courts, hearings, trials and social investigations, between a year and 3 years
French civil partnership called PACS
Shall I go to family law Courts to get separated?
No!
Except partners don't agree on financial and residential matters they got together during their civil partnership
What is the process?
1st scenario: both partners agree to separate
They have to file their request to the civil registration, notaire, ambassy... where they did the registration at the first place.
2nd scenario: Only one partner wants to get separated
He/she has to file his/her request to the civil registration or legal office where he/she did the registration at the first place.
Shall I get a divorce lawyer?
No!
Paperworks you will need
None
Changes in your civil registration
Yes!
A legal certificate of dissolution is required
This will let third parties to know about changes in your situation.
When my divorce officially will end
Partners are definitely considered as separated when the civil partnership dissolution is officially registered.
When my divorce will end regarding the law
Civil partnership dissolution ends when it's overwritten in their birth certificate.
How long does it take to get divorced?
None!
French civil partnership immediately ends when receiving the dissolution certificate.
Cohabitation
Shall I go to family law Courts to get separated?
No!
except partners don't agree on financial and residential matters they got together during their civil partnership
What is the process?
None!
Please note that if the separation is considered as unfair or brutal, one of the partner can ask for damages compensation.
Shall I get a divorce lawyer?
No!
Paperworks you will need
None!
Changes in your civil registration
No!
When my divorce officially will end
Straight away!
When my divorce will end regarding the law
Straight away except if both partners have assets together
How long does it take to get divorced?
None!
Separation is complete when both partners want to.

Separation lawyer

Financial matters after separation

Dividing up money and belongings

Living together means you share assets, expenses, home or property.

When you separate, you’ll need to think about how to divide your money and belongings.

Two of the biggest decisions you’re likely to make are what to do with your home and how to divide up any pensions – if you have them.

Comparison table regarding financial matters following a separation
Marriage
Can my partner get a spousal maintenance?
Yes!
Can my partner get a compensation for a fault?
Yes!
article 266 French Law article says that in case of fault divorce or for 'irreparable breakdown of the marriage' getting a compensation is possible.
My partner owns me some money. How to sort this out?
Once your divorce dissolution is settled by the Court, all debts and spousal arrears are calculated. In France it's called 'reward time' where reward means partners either refund one another.
French Civil partnership/Pacs
Can my partner get a spousal maintenance?
No!
expect if agreement between partners
Can my partner get a compensation for a fault?
Yes!
Article 1240 French Law article mentions in case of damages a partner can ask for a compensation
My partner owns me some money. How to sort this out?
If case of debts, there will be a refund
Cohabitation
Can my partner get a spousal maintenance?
No!
expect if agreement between partners
Can my partner get a compensation for a fault?
Yes!
Article 1240 French Law article mentions in case of damages a partner can ask for a compensation
My partner owns me some money. How to sort this out?
If case of debts, there will be a refund
Comparison table regarding housing and belongings following a separation
Marriage
My partner bought a house before getting together.
Who it belongs to?
The partner who's bought the house before getting married is the landlord.
In case this house is the marital home, French Courts can forced the landlord to give tenancy to the other partner.
My partner bought a house when we were together.
Who it belongs to after a divorce or separation?
Depends on your prenup agreement if that the case.
Both partners bought a house together.
Who it belongs to after a divorce or separation
Depends on your prenup agreement if that the case.
If this house is the main marital home then Courts can decide to give it to one of the partner. The other has to pay it out.
One of the partner is renting a flat but you are living in it. Who is the main tenant?
Regarding French Courts, your other half is also renting the flat. In other words, if you can't afford the rent and your partner can afford it, he or she will have to pay for the arrears
French Civil partnership/Pacs
My partner bought a house before getting together.
Who it belongs to?
The house belongs to the one who's bought it.
My partner bought a house when we were together.
Who it belongs to after a divorce or separation?
The house belongs to the one who's bought it.
Both partners bought a house together.
Who it belongs to after a divorce or separation
The house belongs to both partners regarding the shares they've got each.
One of the partner is renting a flat but you are living in it. Who is the main tenant?
The tenant is the one who is on the tenancy agreement unless asking the landlord to modify the tenancy.
In that saying, both partners are responsible for arrears. The landlord could ask both to clear out the arrears.
Cohabitation
My partner bought a house before getting together.
Who it belongs to?
No!
expect if agreement between partners
My partner bought a house when we were together.
Who it belongs to after a divorce or separation?
Yes!
Article 1240 French Law article mentions in case of damages a partner can get a compensation
Both partners bought a house together.
Who it belongs to after a divorce or separation
If case of debts, this will lead to a refund
One of the partner is renting a flat but you are living in it. Who is the main tenant?
The main tenant will remain the main tenant

Separation lawyer

Things to consider regarding children in case of a divorce or separation

Are there different effects on children depending the type of separation or divorce?

No!

E.ffects on children do not depend whether you’re married, in a civil partnership or cohabitation.

Child care arrangements after divorce or separation

Several arrangements have to be considered regarding children:

– Parental responsability

– Child maintenance: Child maintenance covers how your child’s living costs will be paid when one of the parents does not live with the child. It’s made when you’ve separated from the other parent or if you’ve never been in a relationship.

– An agreement must be address as anwsering questions like:

  • Which parent will the children live with for most of the time?
  • How much time will they spend with the other parent?
  • When and how will this contact take place?
  • What other contact will take place (e.g. phone calls)?
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To help you
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PacisLexis Family Law

You want to learn more about separation & divorce?

Whether you’re married, in a civil partnership or cohabitation, do not hesitate to contact our firm regarding every aspect of a separation.

After a 15 mn free-call back, we will offer you a call back rate if needed.

PacisLexis Family Law

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