The spouses owe each other respect, loyalty, aid and assistance. They are also required to contribute to household expenses.


– The spouses owe each other respect, loyalty, aid and assistance. In practice, this translates into the payment of maintenance for the benefit of the spouse in need.

– The spouses can have separate homes provided they meet regularly in the family residence chosen by mutual agreement; this is the duty of cohabitation.

– The spouses together ensure the moral and material direction of the family. They provide for the upbringing of children and prepare their future.

The duty of aid and mutual assistance explains the role given to the spouse when the other loses their physical or mental faculties.


Accommodation of the family

The law protects the accommodation of the family. A spouse alone cannot sell it, assign it or rent it. They are prohibited from performing acts alone which would deprive the family of the enjoyment of the dwelling.

This protection exists regardless of the matrimonial regime and the spouse who owns the property.


The tax household

By getting married, the spouses create a tax household. After marriage, they jointly declare their income to the tax authorities and receive a single tax notice.

In the year of the wedding, they make three statements. Each individual declares the income they have received until the date of the wedding before making a joint declaration retracing the income received by both spouses from the wedding until the end of the year.

They are also subject to a joint property tax. The marriage concluded during the year does not affect this tax for which property assets are declared at 1 January of the tax year.


Failure to fulfil the duties of the spouses

This can constitute a fault and be a cause of divorce. If one of the spouses has failed in their duty to assist, they may be liable to the court.

The behaviour of a spouse may constitute a case of ingratitude making it possible to revoke the donations one spouse has made for the benefit of the other.


Worth knowing

To inform the future spouses of their mutual rights and duties, the civil status officer reads out articles 213 and 371-1 of the French Civil Code, before obtaining their consent to the marital union.


Reference text:

Articles 212 et seq. of the French Civil Code