Concerning a French marriage, are there community property laws? That is to say, if we were married in France and my husband has money in France and in other countries, am I entitled to half of it?
Hello, yes there are community property laws in France.
There are several types of matrital or matrimonial regimes in France.
In French law, there are basically 3 separate matrimonial regimes:
1). Joint community (matrimonial) property matrimonial regime (the French legal by default regime) In French this is called “communauté de biens réduite aux acquêts.”
Each spouse conserves as his or her own property the property he/she owned before the marriage, and property received by inheritance or as a gift during the marriage; All property acquired after marriage, and the debts contracted by one or other spouse, are their common heritage. This can be found in articles 1401 and the following articles of the French Civil Code.
2). Separation of property matrimonial. (In French this is called “regime séparation de biens.”)
This is done with an antenuptial (prenuptial) agreement. This plan establishes a separation of property between spouses. All property acquired before and during marriage shall remain the property of the person who bought them. Each spouse is personally responsible for his debts only, except household debts whose purpose household maintenance and education of children.
3). Universal community matrimonial regime(In French this is called “communauté universelle.”)
This is done with an antenuptial agreement. This regime puts everything in common. All property, movable or immovable property, acquired or received (by gift or inheritance) before or during marriage are common properties. The spouses are jointly and severally liable for all claims.
In French law, if you have no antenuptial agreement then, your matrimonial regime is the first on the list above: the joint community property matrimonial regime (this is the legal by default matrimonial regime).
Thank you. Excellent service!!!
Practicing law in France, 10+ years of experience on Paris Bar. Taught French Business Law in US
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