Divorce impacts the organisation of relationships between children and their parents as well as their estate.

Following the divorce, the children are entrusted to one and/or other of the parents who often continue to exercise parental authority together.
Parents can arrange alternating custody. Otherwise, the parent without custody will have a right of access and accommodation allowing them to see the children and have them stay, at frequencies and for periods specified in the divorce decree.


Separation does not end the legal obligation to contribute to the maintenance and upbringing of children. The parent who does not have custody of the children must pay maintenance to the other parent. In the absence of an agreement, the amount is fixed by the judge according to the resources of the parents and the needs of the children. Maintenance, which is indexed to the cost of living, is paid until children can provide for themselves, including after reaching the age of majority, if necessary.

The compensatory allowance

Divorce can create significant imbalances in the living conditions of former spouses. To remedy this, the spouse who has the highest income may be required to pay the other financial assistance during the divorce proceedings and possibly a financial sum after the final judgement. This is called “compensatory allowance”.

Effects on assets

Divorce entails the sharing of assets which are held commonly or under joint ownership. The intervention of the notary is advisable in this case and indispensable when the couple owns property. In fact, very often, even the sharing of sums from a sale does not result in a distribution by half, either because of the existence of claims between spouses that the notary will be able to quantify, or “rewards” due by or to the community of property (following inheritances, donations, manual donations, assets owned at marriage) that the notary will liquidate. The notary may have to draw up a draft during the procedure, at the request of the parties or on the decision of the judge in the context of the non-conciliation order.

Worth knowing

Divorce does not affect donations of present assets between spouses, those that the spouses were able to consent to during their marriage. Conversely, donations to the last survivor are revoked ipso jure.


Reference text

Article 262-1 et seq. of the French Civil Code