French Civil Code: Cases of Divorce

Book I: On Persons

Section VI: On Divorce

Chapter I: On Cases of Divorce

Article 229

Spouses may mutually consent to divorce by a privately signed deed that is countersigned by lawyers and legally filed with a notary.

Divorce may be decreed in the following cases:

  • Mutual consent, in the case provided for under 1° of Article 229-2;
  • Agreement on the principle of ending the marriage;
  • Definitive alteration of the marital relation;
  • Fault.

Section 1: On Divorce by Mutual Consent

Subsection 1: On Divorce by mutual consent by a privately signed deed that is countersigned by lawyers and legally filed with a notary

Article 229-1

When the spouses agree on ending the marriage and its consequences, they shall record this agreement, each accompanied by a lawyer, in the form of a privately signed deed that is countersigned by their lawyers and made under the conditions provided for under Article 1374.

This agreement shall be legally filed with a notary, who verifies its conformity with the formal requirements provided under 1° to 6° of Article 229-3. He also ensures that the draft agreement was not signed before the expiration of the period of reflection provided for under Article 229-4.

This filing takes effect on the agreement by giving it a fixed date and enforceability.

Article 229-2

The spouses cannot mutually consent to divorce by a privately signed deed that is countersigned by lawyers if:

1° A minor, informed by his parents of his right to be heard by the judge under the conditions provided for under Article 388-1, requests a hearing before the judge.

2° One of the spouses is placed under one of the protection systems provided for in Chapter II of Section XI of the present book.

Article 229-3

Consent to divorce and its consequences is not presumed.

The agreement must explicitly include, on pain of nullity:

1° The first name, last name, profession, residence, nationality, date and place of birth of each spouse, the date and place of their marriage, as well as the same information for each of their children, if applicable;

2° The name, professional address and professional organization of the lawyers tasked with assisting the spouses as well as the bar to which they belong.

3° A statement of the agreement of the spouses on the ending of the marriage and its consequences under the terms stated in the agreement.

4° The complete terms of settlement of the consequences of the divorce in conformity with Chapter III of the present section, notably if there is a payment of a compensatory allowance

5° The statement of realization and liquidation of the matrimonial regime, if applicable in the authentic notarized form when the liquidation applies to goods submitted to the land registry, or a declaration that there was no liquidation.

6° A statement that the minor was informed by his or her parents of his or her right to be heard by the judge under the conditions provided for under Article 388-1 and that he or she does not wish to use this right.

Article 229-4

The lawyer sends to the spouse who he assists, by registered mail with a request for acknowledgement of receipt, a draft agreement, which cannot be signed, at pain of nullity, before the expiration of the period of reflection which lasts fifteen days from its reception.

The agreement becomes enforceable on the day it acquires a fixed date.

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