How do I know if divorce proceedings are ongoing?

Some situations lead to wanting to end the marriage. Depending on the state of mind in which divorce is sought, there are several procedures

. Contents:

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  • Definition of Divorce Proceedings
  • How to start divorce proceedings?
  • Is it possible to divorce without a lawyer?
  • Different types of divorce
  • How long does a divorce procedure last?
  • What are the papers needed for this procedure?
  • Can we cancel a divorce proceeding?

Definition of Divorce Proceedings

During a divorce the spouses end their marriage, and settle all the consequences. Depending on the form of divorce they wish to initiate, the procedure will not be the same as the fate of the liquidation of the marriage.

How to start divorce proceedings?

Whatever the procedure of chosen divorce, the application always follows the same principle.

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Indeed, the procedure always begins with the call to a lawyer. If the spouses choose the amicable procedure they can no longer be represented by the same lawyer since the law came into force in 2017. In all cases, the parties will be required to be assisted by separate counsel.

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To officially initiate the proceedings, the lawyer will draw up a petition or agreement (depending on the form of divorce) that notifies the application for divorce. The motion is sent to the family judge, this initiates the judicial proceedings. The agreement is drafted by the lawyers and the parties and then filed before the notary to give it enforceable and formalize the divorce.

Is it possible to divorce without a lawyer?

Since 2017 it is possible not to resort to the family judge through divorce by mutual consent. But this does not deprive the obligation to have to call on a lawyer.

Regardless of the divorce procedure chosen, the parties must be assisted by a lawyer each.

Different types of divorce

There are several divorce procedures.

Either the parties agree on the principle of divorce and its consequences: in this case divorce by mutual consent is applicable.

Either the spouses agree on the principle of divorce but not on the conditions: in this case the accepted divorce procedure is applicable.

In other cases, that is, when the spouses do not agree on the principle of divorce or the consequences, there is divorce proceedings for misconduct, for definitive alteration of the marital relationship.

Finally, there is legal separation, which is to be distinguished from divorce procedures strictly speaking.

It should be noted that in any case the steps to be followed for the dissolution of marriage are cumbersome and costly. Divorce procedure by mutual consent

This is a much appreciated procedure because it is the fastest and cheapest. But she asks for the spouses to agree on divorce and everything it entails.

Amicable Divorce Procedure

This procedure is called “amicable procedure”. Indeed, she is chosen when both spouses agree on the divorce and on these consequences.

With the help of their lawyers, the spouses will draw up an agreement that will settle the effects of divorce: on the division of property, the fate of the family dwelling, determination of the compensatory benefit if there is one, custody of children…

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Contact Us The convention takes the form of a private act.

Simplified divorce procedure

The procedure is simplified because the family judge no longer intervenes. It is also for this reason that spouses must be assisted by two separate lawyers: to maintain fairness between the spouses.

Before signing the agreement, the spouses must wait for a cooldown period of 15 days from receipt. The agreement is sent to the notary within 7 days after signing.

Once completed, the agreement will be deposited by the lawyers at the notary, who will in turn file it at the rank of minutes to give it enforceable in 15 days.

It is also the notary who will check whether the agreement respects the interests of each of the former spouses.

However, if the spouses have children and one or more of them want to be heard, the procedure becomes judicial and takes place before the Family Judge .

In this case, therefore, the convention does not take the form of a private act.

In this case, the spouses may be represented by the same lawyer because it is the judge who will ensure that fairness between the spouses is respected.

The lawyer will file the divorce application before the TGI on which the spouses depend. The spouses will be summoned to a hearing where the judge will hear the spouses one by one and then together.

It is the Family Judge who will approve the agreement and give it enforceable by certifying it after hearing the child.

When the judge pronounced the divorce, only an appeal in cassation is possible within 15 days of divorce (no appeal procedure). It is only in the case of a refusal of approval of the agreement by the judge that the spouses can appeal.

Expedited Divorce Procedure

To the extent that this procedure is not judicial, all the time limits for it are shorter. Except, of course, the case where the children wish to be heard by the judge.

We will see in more detail the deadlines a little later in the article.

Divorce proceedings for misconduct

Conditions for initiating divorce proceedings for fault.

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Contact Us A spouse applying for divorce proceedings on grounds of misconduct must rely on “facts constituting a violation serious or renewed duties and obligations of marriage attributable to his spouse and rendering the maintenance of life together intolerable” Article 242 of the Civil Code.

It is up to the applicant spouse to provide proof of the facts that may be:

  • spousal violence;
  • non-compliance with maintenance obligations for relief and assistance resulting from marriage;
  • abandonment of the conjugal home;

Proceedings of the procedure:

Step 1 → Initial Query

The applicant spouse must appeal to counsel to apply to the judge. The application must set out the grounds for the divorce and the request for interim measures. Be careful, under no circumstances should the application present the legal basis nor the facts that are the origin of the divorce!

The application is filed before TGI on which the family residence depends on the understanding that the competent judge is family affairs.

The other spouse is informed of the application and must be represented by a lawyer.

Step 2 → Conciliation

This step is mandatory and must be done before the court subpoena. During conciliation the family judge will summon the spouses and try to reconcile them, it is in a way a mediation procedure. there will be three interviews:

  • one for each of the two spouses separately,
  • an interview with the two spouses together and their lawyers.
  • A reflection period of 8 days shall be left to the spouses following the conciliation procedure if the judge considers that reconciliation is possible.

The judge may decide to proceed with a new conciliation procedure within 6 months (which suspends divorce proceedings).

The judge will issue either a non-conciliation order or conciliation depending on whether the spouses eventually reconcile themselves or not. In the event of non-conciliation, the judge will fix interim measures pending the final divorce (such as alimony, for example).

Step 3 → court subpoena.

The non-conciliation order will allow the applicant spouse to proceed to a court subpoena within 3 months. If the 3 months have expired, the other spouse may proceed to the summons. Within a maximum of 30 months if no subpoena is filed, the procedure shall lapses.

In proceedings before the judge, the spouses can change the legal basis of the divorce at any time and apply for divorce, for example by accepting the breach or mutual consent. However, when the application for a change of basis is accepted by the judge, it is no longer possible to return to the first legal basis in the event of a second instance.

Step 4 → Decision of the judge.

After examining the application and the evidence, the judge will rule.

The judge may consider that the reasons put forward do not constitute divorce for fault and therefore dismiss the application.

Conversely, he can pronounce a divorce for fault of the exclusive wrongs of a spouse or the shared wrongs of the two spouses.

The innocent spouse can claim damages if the divorce is made to the exclusive wrongs of the former spouse.

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Contact Us In his judgment, he will determine all the effects of divorce, including the compensatory benefit, the consequences for children…

Lawyers will be responsible for registering the mention of divorce on the civil status.

Divorce proceedings for definitive alteration of conjugal relationship

Conditions for initiate divorce proceedings for definitive alteration of marital relationship:

There must be a voluntary cessation of life together for at least two years from the cessation until the court is summoned.

Proceedings of the procedure:

The course of this procedure is practically the same as for divorce proceedings for fault.

Step 1 → Initial Query

Step 2 → Conciliation

Step 3 → court subpoena

It is on the day of this subpoena that the two-year period ends. It is therefore absolutely necessary that the 2-year period must be reached before this summons, otherwise the latter condition is not admissible on this basis.

If the time limit is well respected and the separation is more than two years at the time of subpoena, divorce is pronounced.

Step 4 → Judge’s decision

Although the divorce is pronounced, the judge will have to determine the effect of the divorce agreement.

Divorce by acceptance of the principle of termination of marriage

In this situation the spouses agree to divorce but not on the consequences.

The proceedings always take place in the same manner as other litigation proceedings (divorce for fault and for definitive alteration of the marital relationship).

There is then the filing of the motion in the High Court, the conciliation phase by the family judge (where the judge will try to reconcile the spouses, otherwise he will draft the non-conciliation order).

It is after the conciliation phase that the spouses will choose this type of divorce.

The judge will then rule on the consequences of divorce, thereby determining the compensatory benefit, the division of property, and custody of the children.

Special case: body separation

It’s not divorce proceedings. In this case the couple prefers to part (body) and no longer live together while remaining married. This is a procedure that can be chosen in the hope that the relationship between the spouses will soothe and return to normal.

The procedure is the same as for judicial divorces.

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It is therefore necessary to call on a lawyer to initiate the procedure.Separation of body can be by mutual consent, for fault or definitive alteration of the conjugal bond. therefore, the application will be filed with the family affairs judge, the conciliation phase with order and finally the judge’s decision.

As a result of the separation of body, when the judge pronounces his judgment, he will fix all the effects of body separation. The spouses therefore remain married, all obligations related to marriage remain. The only thing that changes is the fact that spouses are allowed to no longer live together.

Separation of the body necessarily entails the separation of the property of the spouses. Their assets must therefore be liquidated. All property subsequently owned by the spouses will be linked to their personal assets.

There is no dissolution of the marriage, so the compensatory benefit does not apply, however the judge can issue alimony.

How long does a divorce procedure last?

The applicable time limits vary depending on whether a divorce is made by mutual consent or a judicial divorce.

For the procedure by mutual consent there is no recourse to the judge, which shortens the time limits. In the event of appeal to the judge if the children wish to be heard, will be longer, however, there is no conciliation phase. In all cases, divorce by mutual consent remains shorter than judicial divorces.

It appears that this form of divorce can range from 1 month to 3 months depending on the complexity of the divorce and the liquidation of the estate.

For other divorces (by acceptance of the principle of marriage break, by definitive alteration of the marital bond and for fault) the delays are much more consistent. Indeed, many delays are superimposed:

  • recourse to a lawyer,
  • filing of the motion before the judge,
  • conciliation procedure,
  • subpoena in court,
  • hearing before the Family Judge
  • and divorce judgement.

All these steps lead to a relatively long delay (around two years). This varies depending on the chosen divorce procedure:

  • divorce by acceptance of principle of termination of marriage and the shortest divorce of litigation divorce because the spouses agree to divorce, the delay is often less than 2 years .
  • Divorce for fault and for definitive alteration of the marital bond are the longest, as they are cumbersome proceedings. The procedure for definitive alteration of the marital relationship requires at least two years of termination of life together, with a minimum of two years.

Regardless of the litigation divorce, the delays also depend on the judges and their workload, but also on lawyers.

What are the papers needed for this procedure?

The list of documents to be provided is longer for a litigation divorce than for a divorce by mutual consent.

Mutual Consent:

  • The family booklet;
  • Full photocopy of marriage certificate dating from less than three month;
  • Photocopy of the transcript of the marriage certificate to the Central Civil Registry Service of Nantes if the marriage was celebrated abroad;
  • Full photocopy of the birth certificates of the two French spouses dated less than three months old;
  • Photocopy of the birth certificate dated less than six months with an official translation of less than one year if you reside in France and are a foreign national;
  • A full photocopy of the birth certificates of children under three months of age;
  • Photocopy of the marriage contract;
  • A photocopy of the two pieces of identification and the two vital cards;
  • Last three salary slips or ASSEDICS statements;
  • Last tax notice;
  • Proof of domicile dated less than three months;
  • Proof of appropriations if available (consumer credits credits) real estate);
  • Acts of sale or purchase of real estate if applicable.

Other litigation divorces:

  • The family booklet;
  • Photocopy of the marriage certificate dated less than three months old. Photocopy of the transcript of the marriage certificate to the Central Civil Registry Service of Nantes if the marriage was celebrated abroad;
  • Full photocopy of the birth certificates of the two French spouses dated less than three months old;
  • Photocopy of the birth certificate dated less than six months with an official translation of less than one year if you reside in France and are a foreign national;
  • A full photocopy of the birth certificates of children under three months of age;
  • Photocopy of the marriage contract;
  • A photocopy of the two pieces of identification and the two vital cards;
  • Last three ballots salary or ASSEDICS statements;
  • Last tax notice;
  • Proof of domicile dated less than three months;
  • Proof of credits if available (consumer credits real estate credits);
  • Acts of sale or purchase of real estate, if any;
  • Contact details of pension funds;
  • Amount and origin of the various accounts (current accounts, booklets A…);
  • List of donations and life insurance contracted.

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Contact Us Can we cancel a divorce proceeding?

Divorce proceedings may be stopped at any time before the final decision of the judge.

To do so, it is necessary to send by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt to the case judge. family. The procedure shall cease upon receipt of the mail by the judge.

If subsequently a new divorce procedure is carried out, the grounds invoked during the first may no longer be so in the second.

On the other hand, it is possible to appeal a divorce decision. This is the case if one of the spouses intends to challenge the judgment of first jurisdiction, the time limit for appeal is one month following the judgment, the appeal may be the subject of an appeal in cassation within two months of the appeal decision.

As for divorce by mutual consent, the time limits for appeal and appeal are shorter, i.e. 15 days for both.

Divorce by mutual consent would account for more than half of the divorces, but if one cannot agree, what procedures are to be followed, sometimes lengthy, complex and costly, it is necessary to anticipate the process.

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