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Marriage contract

Verified 05 March 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

In the absence of a specific approach, the spouses are subject to the regime of the legal community. If the spouses or future spouses wish to opt for another matrimonial regime, they must enter into a marriage contract.

The default is the community reduced to acquisitions.. It will be applied automatically without any procedure on your part. If you wish to adopt another plan, you must do so before a notary and choose between the 4 plans recognized in France.

You can establish the contract before the wedding or after.

Community of managed acquisitions

The spouses may adopt the community of furniture and acquisitions or the community regime reduced to acquisitions but by modifying certain clauses.

For example, they may wish to:

  • that the spouses will have unequal shares (and not ownership of the acquisitions half),
  • either of the spouses may redeem all or part of the property of the other, at a price or under rules fixed in advance.

Universal Community

All the property of the spouses (furniture and buildings, present and future) is common.

Separation of property

Spouses retain the administration, enjoyment and free disposal of their personal property.

They may not be subject to the principle of the contribution of spouses to the costs of marriage according to their means.

Participation in acquisitions

During the period of marriage, this regime functions as if the spouses were married under the regime of separation of property.

At the dissolution of the marriage, each spouse may participate in the net assets recorded in the assets of the other half in value. These must be measured by the double estimation of the original and the final heritage.

Thus, the spouse who has been the least well off is entitled to a claim equal to half of the difference between the value of the assets of each spouse acquired during the marriage.

Procedure

If the couple is not yet married, they must establish the contract before the celebration of marriage..

In order to establish a marriage contract, the spouses or future spouses must contact a notary.

Who shall I contact

He advises them, offers them a draft contract, then proceeds to the registration of the version finally adopted.

No clause shall contravene:

Cost

Fees depend on the size and nature of the movable or immovable property mentioned in the contract.

In all cases, the spouses must pay:

  • of notary's emoluments for the establishment of the marriage contract
  • and costs of proceedings and advertising.

You can make a contract after the wedding or change or modify the existing contract.

You must speak to a notary.

Who shall I contact

Obligation to provide information

Persons who had been party to the amended contract and children of full age shall be personally informed of the proposed change by registered letter with notice of receipt.

The creditors are also informed of the proposed change by publishing a notice in a newspaper of legal announcement.

Approval by the court

The act is subject to the approval of the family court judge of the court of the domicile of the spouses in the event of a challenge (within 3 months) of one of the spouses, an adult child or a creditor.

The procedure of approval before the court requires to be represented by a lawyer (to provide for a lawyer's fee).

Cost

Fees include:

  • Advertising and procedural costs
  • Notary's emoluments
  • Termination of matrimonial property regime
  • Lawyer fees for court registration.

Information fees for creditors and adult children are also mandatory.