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Divorce by mutual consent

Verified 01 April 2019 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Simplification of divorce proceedings

Published on : 18 Jun 2020

The Justice Reform Act provides for a change in the divorce procedure (simplification of vocabulary, information for children, transition from one divorce to another...).

The act no. 2020-734 of 17 june 2020 postpone this new procedure to 1to January 2021.

The information contained on this page remains current while waiting for an amending text.

For a divorce by mutual consent, the spouses do not need to go before the JAF: titleContent unless a child of the spouses requests to be heard by the judge. An agreement between the spouses and their respective lawyers may be drawn up. The agreement must be filed with a notary.

General case

The application may be made if the spouses agree on the divorce and all its effects (division of property, parental authority, maintenance, compensatory benefit).

No minimum length of marriage is required.

Spouses do not have to give reasons for divorce.

They must speak to their respective lawyers.

Divorce by mutual consent private signature countersigned by lawyers cannot take place if:

  • the minor, informed by his parents of his right to be heard by the judge, shall ask to be heard by the judge,
  • one of the spouses is placed under one of the regimes of the protected adults (i.e. guardianship, curatelle or safeguarding justice).


if one of the spouses is a foreigner, it should be noted that in some countries only judicial divorce (i.e. subject to the approval of the judge) is recognized.

The lawyer shall send the assisting spouse, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, a draft agreement. This draft may not be signed by the spouses before the expiry of a reflection period of 15 days from receipt. If one of the spouses signs the agreement before the 15-day period, the agreement becomes void.

This agreement takes the form of a private signature signed by each of the spouses' lawyers.

It is signed by the spouses and their lawyers in 3 copies. Each spouse shall keep an original of the agreement together with its annexes. 3e original is for the notary.

The agreement shall be sent to the notary within 7 days of the date of signature of the agreement.


until the agreement is deposited with a notary, the spouses may apply to the court for body separation or divorce (for example, divorce for fault).

The agreement must then be deposited with a notary who will keep it in the form of minute..

The notary checks whether these elements appear in the agreement, and whether the 15-day reflection period has been respected.

The deposit of the agreement with the notary makes it possible to confer on the agreement certain date and enforceable force, i.e. the Convention shall apply immediately.

However, the spouses may stipulate in the agreement that the consequences of the divorce take effect on a later date.

Who shall I contact

The mention of divorce shall be made by the registrar on the margins of the marriage certificate and the birth certificate of each of the spouses. The application is sent to the town hall by the person concerned or his lawyer, on the basis of a certificate of deposit issued by the notary.

The agreement shall determine the division of the costs of divorce between the spouses. The agreement may not be charged to the party benefiting from legal aid more than half the cost of divorce.

In the absence of a convention, the cost of divorce is shared by half.

The cost of divorce varies according to lawyers' fees select.

The deposit with the notary of the agreement amounts to €42.00 excluding tax (€50.40 TTC).

Of notary fees may be added if the agreement includes:

  • one liquidity statement relating to immovable property;
  • or an allocation of immovable property in respect of compensatory benefit..

In these 2 cases, the notary fees are emoluments, disbursements or disbursements (e.g., mortgage retention fees) and duties and taxes (e.g., transfer fees).

If a child of the spouses wants to be heard

If the child asks to be heard by the judge, the agreement is then submitted to the judge for approval. Then we talk about divorce judicial.. The minor must be informed by his parents of his right to be heard by the judge.

The application may be made if the spouses agree on the divorce and all its effects (division of property, parental authority, maintenance, compensatory benefit). No minimum length of marriage is required.

Spouses do not have to give reasons for divorce.


divorce by mutual consent is forbidden to adults who are protected (i.e. subject to guardianship or curatelle or safeguarding justice).

Spouses must address their lawyers or a single lawyer chosen by mutual agreement.

The lawyer files the petition for divorce with the secretariat-registry of the court of the family's place of residence. If the spouses live separately, they have the choice between the courts of the place of residence of either of them.

The spouses submit to the judge for approval an agreement regulating all the practical consequences of divorce for them and their children.

The matrimonial regime must be liquidated (i.e., the spouses must provide for the division of their common property), a notarial act being obligatory in the presence of immovable property.

The judge hears the spouses separately and then together. He ensures their will to divorce and their free and informed consent.

If the judge finds that the will to divorce each of the spouses is real and that their consent is free and informed, he shall approve the agreement governing the consequences of the divorce and pronounce the divorce. The convention is then certified. In this case, a single hearing is enough to divorce.

The judge may refuse to grant the agreement and may not grant a divorce if he finds that the agreement does not sufficiently protect the interests of the children or a spouse.

In such a case, he shall adjourn his decision, by order, until a new agreement is submitted.

The order shall specify the conditions or guarantees to be attached to the registration of the new agreement and, consequently, to the granting of a divorce.

The judge may approve provisional measures on which the spouses have agreed. These include the elements relating to the separate residence of the spouses, the fixing of maintenance, the allocation of the right to enjoy the dwelling to one of the spouses. These measures must be in the best interests of the child. They are applicable until the divorce judgment is final.

The spouses must submit a new agreement within a maximum period of 6 months. If the judge refuses to register the agreement a second time, or in the absence of a new agreement, the application for divorce lapses.

The cost depends on:

A spouse whose resources are insufficient to initiate divorce proceedings may benefit from legal aid..

The marriage is dissolved 15 days after the family court judge has approved the agreement and pronounced the divorce (if no cassation appeal has been filed).

The divorce judgment shall take effect in the relations between the spouses (in the case of property) on the date of registration of the agreement, unless the spouses provide for another date in the agreement.

The divorce judgment is third partyin respect of the property of the spouses, from the day on which the registration formalities on the civil status documents of the spouses have been completed.

The divorce judgment may be subject to appeal in cassation within 15 days of delivery. This remedy is suspensive except for measures concerning children.

The refusal order may be appealed within 15 days of the date of the decision.