Which divorce to choose?

There are several types of possible divorces under French law. To determine which one is best for your situation and needs, it's worth asking yourself a few simple questions.

Article 229 of the Civil Code:
"The spouses may mutually consent to their divorce by deed under private signature countersigned by lawyers, deposited among the minutes of a notary.
Divorce may be pronounced in the event of:
-either mutual consent, in the case provided for in 1° of Article 229-2;
-or acceptance of the principle of the breakdown of the marriage;
-or  definitive alteration of the marital bond;
-or fault. »

I prefer to enter into an AGREEMENT directly with my spouse OR ASK A JUDGE TO DECIDE?

  • 1st hypothesis: I prefer to agree directly with my spouse:
==> I just have to check that I meet the conditions to access it:
Condition n° 1: our minor child must not ask to be heard by a judge to express his feelings (which implies that he is old enough to be).
Condition n° 2: I and/or my spouse must not be "protected adult" (i.e. placed under judicial protective measures as “sauvegarde de justice”, “curatelle”, “tutelle”, “mandat de protection future” ou “habilitation familiale”).
Condition n° 3: with my spouse, we agree not only on the principle of divorce, but also on all its consequences, whether in our relations with each other and with regard to our children if necessary.
  • 1st case: these three conditions are met, so I can choose to mandate a lawyer to prepare a " divorce par acte sous signature privée contresigné par avocat ".
  • 2nd case: these conditions are not met, I am obliged to mandate a lawyer to launch a judicial divorce procedure.
  • 2nd hypothesis: I prefer that a judge decides:
I have several types of judicial divorces to choose from. I can ask my lawyer to identify the most suitable and in line with my interests.
Here again, however, I can get a first idea by asking myself some questions.
Do we agree on everything?

  • 1st case: YES, we agree on everything,
==> I ask myself: do we have a child who wants to be heard by the judge?
YES ==> we can choose " divorce par consentement mutuel "
NO ==> we can choose  " divorce pour acceptation du principe de la rupture du mariage "

  • 2nd case: NO, we do not agree on everything,

==> I must ask myself if I can and if I want to invoke a serious or renewed breach of the duties and obligations of marriage against my spouse?
YES ==> I can choose " divorce pour faute "
NO ==> I can choose " divorce pour altération définitive du lien conjugal "

NOTA BENE - I must know, however, that if, during the procedure, we finally reach an agreement, it will always be possible, until the day of the hearing, to have it validated by the judge, regardless of the type of divorce I had chosen.