Divorce by mutual consent

Since 1 January 2017, divorce by mutual consent no longer requires the approval of the Family Court.

However, it may become a judicial divorce if a minor child asks to be heard by the Judge.

During this procedure, the spouses must reach an agreement, each assisted by a lawyer.

This agreement is recorded in an agreement in the form of a private deed countersigned by their lawyers.

This agreement is filed with a notary, who checks that the formal requirements set out in 1° to 6° of article 229-3 and the time limit set out in article 229-4 of the Civil Code have been met, and registers the divorce agreement.

Other types of divorce

Apart from divorce by mutual consent, which is a non-contentious procedure, all other cases of divorce are contentious.

Law no. 2019-222 of 23 March 2019 abolishes the petition for divorce on 1 September 2020 and unifies the divorce procedural regime.

A distinction must therefore be made between proceedings initiated before 1 September 2020 and those initiated after that date.

Divorce proceedings initiated before 1 September 2020:

A spouse wishing to apply for a divorce must submit a petition to the Family Affairs Judge through a lawyer.

The application must contain the requests for provisional measures and a summary of the reasons for them.

An initial compulsory hearing takes place, known as an attempt at conciliation.

The Judge will then issue a non-conciliation order allowing the spouses to initiate the second phase of the divorce.

This second phase must take place within thirty months and can only be based on one of the grounds for divorce.

There are currently three grounds for divorce: permanent impairment of the marital bond, acceptance of the principle of the breakdown of the marriage or fault.

At the end of the procedure, the Family Affairs Judge will grant the spouses a divorce.

Divorce proceedings commenced on or after 1 September 2020:

An application for divorce must be made either by writ of summons or by petition.

It is not possible to invoke the grounds for the application, except in the case of acceptance of the divorce in the six months preceding the application for divorce or acquisition of the one-year time limit for divorce on the grounds of definitive alteration of the marriage bond.


Under article 61 of the French Civil Code, any person with a legitimate interest may apply to change their name.

This is done by decree.

The legitimate interest may consist of the desire to change a ridiculous or coarse-sounding name, or a name of foreign origin.

It may also be justified in order to prevent the extinction of the name borne by an ascendant or collateral relative in the family.

Furthermore, a simple emotional reason is not sufficient; exceptional circumstances must be demonstrated.

The request for a change of name must be preceded by official publication and must be addressed to the Minister of Justice.

Children under the age of thirteen automatically have their name changed.

Beyond that age, they must consent to the name change personally.

It is also possible to change your name when you acquire French nationality.

A person may have their name francized if the sound or foreign nature of their name could hinder their integration into the French community.

It is the Minister responsible for authorisations who grants this francization.

Finally, since a circular dated 20 November 2016, it has been possible to change the name of a person who has acquired another name within another European Union state.

There are other procedures that lead to a change of name, such as the procedure for contesting paternity or adoption.


Family law is very broad and can be the source of various disputes and problems between the various family players.

That’s why it’s important to know and understand the issues you may face before taking your case to the Family Court or the Juvenile Court.

The advice of a lawyer is therefore essential before any action is taken.

I work in the following areas: divorce, separation, establishment and liquidation of matrimonial property regimes, parentage, adoption, alimony and compensation.

I also have specific experience of domestic violence and protection orders.


Thanks to specific training in criminal defence at the Paris Bar, I can act for both the perpetrators and the victims of criminal offences.

Whether you are the accused or the victim of a criminal offence, it is important that you are defended rigorously and effectively.

Criminal justice is often swift, and appearing before the criminal courts can be a trying experience.

I can assist you at every stage of criminal proceedings: from police custody to an appearance before a criminal court.

Contact me