Can the type of divorce be changed during the course of the proceedings?

Verified 23 March 2022 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Yes, you can change the divorce procedure. It's called a footbridge. Not all gateways are possible.

You can go from a judicial divorce to an amicable divorce. In some cases, this change is not possible.

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General case

If you divorce before a judge, you can at any point in the procedure choose to divorce by mutual consent.

This footbridge is possible for all forms of judicial divorce:

Your lawyers are withdrawing from the current court divorce proceedings and you will no longer go before a judge.

This change is possible in proceedings before the family court and in cases where calling party before the judges of the court of appeal.


in order for divorce by mutual consent to succeed, you must agree on everything.

Spouse under protective measures

If you or your spouse are placed under protective measures (guardianship, curatorship, safeguarding of justice...) divorce by mutual consent is not possible.

If the mutual consent divorce procedure is not successful, you cannot change to any other procedure.

You can start a new proceedings before the court with a new ground for divorce.

There are several gateways to moving from a judicial divorce to another form of judicial divorce. The possibilities for change depend on the type of initial divorce.

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Divorce for permanent alteration of marital bond

You can go from divorce on grounds of permanent alteration of the marital relationship to one divorce accepted or to a fault divorce.

To get to a fault divorce, your husband defendant at divorce must have presented a counterclaim divorce for fault. You can then amend your application by invoking the fault of your spouse.

Divorce for fault

You can go from a procedure to fault divorce to a procedure for divorce accepted.

However, you can't go from divorce for fault to divorce on grounds of alteration of marital bond. You need to do a new divorce proceeding.

Divorce accepted

You can't change to another divorce application before a judge.

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