Divorce and Separation - Lawyer

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The existence of an agreement on the principles and consequences of divorce, or at least the sincere willingness of the couple to reach such an agreement, is a decisive factor in the choice of the procedure of divorce.

A distinction is made between amicable divorce and contested divorce.

Divorce by Mutual Consent

A divorce by mutual consent assumes that the spouses have reached an agreement on the principles of divorce and its consequences on property, as well as the non-property consequences (couple and children).

In this respect, the spouses should consider particularly the following points :

Maintaining of the married woman’s name after divorce

Compensatory payment

Future of donations and consented matrimonial benefits

Liquidation of the marriage

Date of effect of the divorce

Children’s residence (alternate or fixed at one parent’s house with the right of visit and accommodation for the other parent)

Payment of a contribution for the care and education of children

Their agreement is effected via a convention of divorce that is subjected to approval by the judge.

Amicable divorce allows without doubt saving time and reduces the legal uncertainty of the contentious procedure. However, it must not be carried out hastily.

Mrs. Elisabeth ROUSSET brings real added value at this point: her expertise ensures that the interests of her Client are preserved and that the agreement is enforceable. The idea behind is to eliminate disputes in order to avoid that spouses initiate new legal actions and incur additional costs after divorce.

The intervention of Ms Elisabeth ROUSSET secures the entire procedure.

For reference, in the Hauts-de-Seine, 4 to 6 months are needed between the initiation of the application for divorce and the transcription of the judgement in the civil registers.

Contested divorce

If the agreement fails, divorce is subject to litigation proceedings, which initiate by the filling of the petition for divorce in order to proceed to an attempt of conciliation and to address the setting up of provisional measures.

The hearing of conciliation is the most important event in the contested divorce process: it is the only time the Client meets the Judge and, except in case of a particular incident, the consequences of the divorce pronounced afterwards will follow the provisional measures decided in the forefront.

In this respect, Mrs. Elisabeth ROUSSET carries out a conjugal, parental, compensational and property audit which will anticipate the property consequences of divorce (e.g. payment of compensatory allowances) and develops a smart strategy from the very beginning of the hearing of conciliation.

After the hearing, the Judge issues a non-conciliation order that defines the provisional measures which may be appealed.

For reference, in the Hauts-de-Seine, 3 to 4 months are needed between the initiation of the application for divorce and the date of the hearing of conciliation.

The proceedings of divorce continue by the introduction of a procedure by summons, which aims at one of the three opening cases of a contested divorce :

Accepted divorce, which implies that the spouses accept the principles of marriage breakdown without considering the facts that are at its origin.

Divorce for irretrievable impairing of the marriage tie as a consequence of the breaking down of the community of life between spouses if they live separated for at least two years at the date of the assignment.

Divorce for fault; in France the notion of fault has nowadays an almost exclusive criminal meaning (e.g. proven domestic violence established by the court).

After several months of proceeding where the case is dealt with, a hearing is set after which the judgement of divorce is issued.

The mission of the Lawyer ends with the transcription of the definitive divorce judgement in the civil registers.

It is important to point out that the Law of 26th may 2004 has made, within the spirit of appeasement of contested divorce proceedings, a separation between the case for divorce and its financial consequences.

The following step - if applicable - is the liquidation of matrimonial property.

Separation of non-married couples

Since the introduction in Civil Law in 1999 of provisions related to The Civil Solidarity Pact (PACS) and the cohabitation, marriage is not the only form of union recognized in France.

In both cases (PACS and cohabitation), the non-married couple may charge a Lawyer to compose a convention that organises the modalities of separation. The convention is subject to confirmation by the Judge.

If the agreement fails, the case is subject to litigation proceedings.

Please note that Mrs. Elisabeth ROUSSET has acquired deep knowledge in private international law and can advise you on the competent judge and the applicable law if your situation presents an international element (the citizenship of the spouses and children, the place of celebration of the marriage, the place of establishment of the family after the marriage and/or on the date where the proceeding is instituted).

Do not hesitate to contact me to further information.

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