French Marriage Contracts

The location and manner in which a couple marry and where they live thereafter will determine the way in which the authorities in France and England view their rights and obligations thereafter.

Régime Légal

Where a marriage took place in France and thereafter the spouses resided in France, the régime légal is the statutory default matrimonial regime that governs the property rights of the spouses in French law.

In the event of a succession, and in the absence of a “bespoke” marriage settlement, the surviving spouse is entitled to half of all property purchased during the marriage through the earned income or savings of the spouses. This property as it is acquired by the parties is impressed by a “tenancy in common”, rather than a “joint tenancy”, and on the death of one of the spouses (or divorce), half of it will vest automatically in the survivor, as being his or her share under the regime. The law of succession will not affect that share, but only the half-share of the deceased.

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