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EULawyer, Lawyer
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Titular Attorney (Avocat) at Ioan-Luca Vlad Law Office
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I am 80 years old. My wife is 60 years old.My wife has filed

Customer Question

I am 80 years old. My wife is 60 years old.My wife has filed for divorce in France.We have been married for 20 years. My wife has only worked for one year of this 20. I have a company pension of some 5000 euros a month which I earned before our marriage. I have been the sole supporter of my wife and her two children during these 20 years. We have no property,only my pension and our own furniture in a rented house.
My wife is asking for 50% of my pension and the contents of the rented house.
I am prepared to give her 20% of my pension and the contents of the rented house , which include a grand piano and violin . She can resume her former career as a teacher of violin and piano to supplement my offer.
How will the court view this. Mr T McVeigh
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: French Law
Expert:  EULawyer replied 1 year ago.

Dear Sir,

I am very sorry that you have to go through this at this age.

Based on your question, I suppose that your matrimonial regime is that of community of property, which is the legal regime in France. If it is not (it could be otherwise if: a) you have a matrimonial contract; and / or b) you have been married abroad) please tell me.

Based on your question, I understand that your wife wishes for 50% of the contents of the house as a share of your common property; and 50% of your pension as a 'prestation compensatoire'. I will treat the two separately, because they are different issues.

I. The contents of the house: based on the matrimonial regime of common property, anything acquired during the marriage is the common property of the spouses (i.e. 50-50), regardless of the way it was financed. However, the following are sole property of the respective spouse: 1) items received through inheritance; 2) items owned before the marriage started; 3) items received as a personal compensation or a personal donation by one spouse; 4) items which replace the ones before. If any of the items of the house fall into one of these categories, and belong to your as sole property, then you can protect them because they are taken out of the 'pot' which is being split and are yours beyond whatever you are left from the common property. All the items which fall within the common property should theoretically be split between the two of you equally. However, there is room for compensation with money, or other agreements depending on the nature of the objects.

II. The pension: here, 50% is quite a lot of her to ask. There are specific criteria when allocating 'prestation compensatoire' and these are found in the Civil Code. At a cursory appreciation, I believe you stand a good chance of winning your proposed partition. But instead of talking empty, I would like to point you to a page which, by chance, illustrates a hypothetical case which is very similar to yours. You should read it all, to see what her arguments could be as well. But if you wish to skim, the arguments which you could make are presented in the second part: (see 'Si vous etes defendeur'). As you will see, your advanced age, any medical conditions, her refusal of working etc. plead to a smaller share of your pension.

Of course I cannot conclude without saying that mediation or a consensual split would be much easier both in terms of time and court procedure, as well as the security of a written and enforceable agreement. You could present her the arguments within a mediation session to see whether, in order to finish things faster, she would agree to your proposed split.

Please do not forget to rate my answer.


Dr Ioan-Luca Vlad