Family law is the area of French law that governs all family-related issues and domestic relations: marriage, divorce, civil unions or domestic partnerships are regulated by this legislation as well as matters regarding adoption, custody, child support and also child abuse and child abduction.
In order to be legally married in France, the couple must undergo a civil marriage ceremony. A religious ceremony can be performed afterwards, however, it is not legally binding alone. Alternatively, partners can sign a civil solidarity pact (PACS), a contractual form of civil union between two adults, including same-sex partners. In the case of marriage, prenuptial agreements may be drawn up by a notary before the wedding.
There are several types of divorce procedures available in France: by mutual consent, accepted, contested (contentious) and for prolonged separation. Divorces in France usually consist of two procedures:
- the order of the divorce, followed by the determination of the custody of the children of the marriage and the financial arrangements for child support - performed by a French judge;
- the division of assets - performed by a French notary.
Our lawyers in the Giambrone & Partners' family team can advise and guide you with legal representation if you considering applying for divorce in France.
In case of divorce or separation, the court will decide the parent’s custody rights. This decision is made in the best interest of the child. There are two parts to child custody in France.
- legal custody: the right of the parents to decide upon the child’s upbringing, education and property. Generally, parents are given joint custody.
- physical custody: the child’s place of residence with one of the parents; the parents can also have joint physical custody.
Usually, the parent who has the larger income will be ordered by the court to provide child support in France until the child reaches the age of majority. Our lawyers in France can provide comprehensive information about child custody and the parent’s legal duties.
French adoption law, provides for adoption to be petitioned by married couples or single individuals. The adoption process in France consists of two steps: an administrative procedure and a judicial procedure.
Our lawyers can help you with more information regarding family law in France and any detailed information about specific requirements for marriage, divorce or child care in France.
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