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Getting divorced in france

Posted by phalen - Created: 17 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by stepok - 16 years ago

i have just read your conversation and wondered if you could pass on any advice ... a collegue of mine is seeking to get divorced in france and having all sorts of trouble .. the arrangements for children have been all sorted thru the court but just getting close to understanding the actual process for divorce in france is really difficult.  does anyone have any info about the procedures for france.  i have read that there is only one hearing for the actual divorce to be made absolute, but it seems that she is having amazing trouble getting to that point. for her it has been two years now.  it seems that the main problem is that her husband is not responding to the solicitors. does anyone have any info/advice or understanding.  Thanks very much in advance.

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 17 years ago

Remember that divorce lawyers (in fact,  all lawyers) want to make as much money as possible out of your misfortune.

It is in their interest to collude with each other to turn the parties agianst each other and to make the process as long drawn out as possible.

It is perfectly possible to come to a (hopefully amicable) agreement between yourselves, and then to have the agreement formalised by a laywer.

In English speaking countries you can get books which guide you through the process.  I assume that much of the information would be equally pertinent here, although you are dealing with different legalities.

It is in the interest of all of you to keep laywers out of it until the last stages.


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Posted by stgeorge-182529 - 17 years ago

I am no expert on these matters , but I would advise that a lawyer's fee will be greater in the event of an acrimonious divorce proceeding , so it is essential you keep the whole thing as amicable as possible.

If you let me know where you are based , I may be able to recommend another lawyer ,( privately by e-mail ) as it seems to me you may require a second opinion and a better comprehension of future plans involving the children and your ex.

The children's welfare comes first , the Tax problem can be dealt with later !!


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Posted by phalen - 17 years ago

ty Legend for that info it is exactly what I need to break the ice with my ex on this custody thing for the kids. I desperately need the child benefit but my ex was paranoid about getting hit for single man tax. it seems that we can both beOK

I thinkt the comment about contrary to tinker was about tinker saying  makes no difference to me because i am not earning. from what i understand it might make a big difference to my ex and that is really where my problem was so thank you for the clarification.

what about the other questions? how do you get kids visitation rights handled in a humane manner? my lawyer is saying something like to sue the other for everything and to demand kids with me and to negotiate from there but I  think this is hostile but lawyer says that this is how you do it in France if you are the parent not working because like thatyou get the most child support. our kids are quite young so we cannot ask them what they want so we have to try to do the right thing for them but also I don't want to compromise the lawyer's argument. So what do other familes do in this situation? also what about medical coverage ? it all seems so incredibly complicated

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Posted by Tinker-186005 - 17 years ago

Sorry not st geoge  i meant legendTinker

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Posted by Tinker-186005 - 17 years ago

At last some one else, not sure where the "contrary to Tinker" fits in as I think we are going down the same route, however as you rightly say the CAF and impot are not connected you are expected to show you tax declaration for the previous year even if its zero euros, and the female carer automatically receives the CAF benefits but the father must sign to agree to this, obviosly there are exceptions to this rule, all CAF forms can be downloaded to save at least one trip to their office, and their web site allows you to see which benefits you require, St George is obviosly an expert so take up his offer and get this sorted; Good LuckTinker

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 17 years ago

seems to me that phalen's immediate problem is a confusion between "personnes à charge" as defined on a déclarations de revenus form no. 2042 and then a similar declaration for "enfants à charge" that needs to be made to the CAF.

One thing that is not obvious to everyone is that there is (theoretically) ZERO connection between the CDI (taxes) and the CAF (family benefit).  Obviously if you were suspected of being fraudulent, they would cross check with one another but what you seem to be suggesting makes a lot of sense even if you are not earning.  In fact, contrary to what tinker says it can make a lot of sense ESPECIALLY as you are not earning.

It wasn't clear in your base post whether you have already separated or if you are planning to.  Also even though you clearly say our husband is the taxpayer, it wasn't clear who is the "allocataire" with the CAF?  Anyway.... in following your logic, I would say that it is perfectly OK for you to be (or become) the "allocataire" and receive all the CAF "prestations".  You will get the standard kids' allowances plus some other allowances depending upon your resources (child support is included - so be honest here!).  If you are not already the allocataire, arrange with your husband to become so by making a declaration to the CAF - you can do this even before you have separated.  The rule that the CAF applies is where the children live MOST of the time.  They don't care a jot about "personnes à charge" as declared to the CDI.

Your lawyer has obviously told you about child support but you (or your husband) seem confused about how to declare the payments you receive (pay).  Regardless of your CAF arrangement, you and your husband can jointly decide how to declare the kids to the CDI.  The basic rule is that if you declare child support as a deduction, you can't declare the child as part of "personnes à charge".  So it is really a simple calculation...

Work out how much child support you will receive (pay).go to www.impots.gouv.frrun the tax calculator first time on behalf of your husband as SEPARATED, Full income, children at his charge, but DO NOT declare child support as deductible charges.  Get an estimate.Run the calculator a second time - this time with husband as single person but with full child support as deductible charges.  Compare estimate at step 3 with that at step 4.  Choose most advantageous (from husband's point of view)Make sure that your PERSONAL declaration is not contradictory with husband's decision taken at step 5.  Ensure that you have no taxable liability if he has chosen to declare child support as deductible (you'd have to receive a LOT for this to be the case).

The above looks a bit messy but it is pretty straightforward as the website is very easy to use (e-mail me if you need help with translation).  The decision at point 5 depends obviously on the tradeoff between the tax-exempt value of the "parts" that the children bring to your husbands declaration versus the value of the deductibles at his marginal rate of taxation.  In average ranges of salary and child support, this comes out in the wash, but for much higher or much lower amounts of one or the other, the calcualtion can yield significant advantages one way or the other.

The key "takeaway" message for your husband is that he needn't lose his CDI tax exemption for the children just because you are declaring them for the CAF and I think that is the most urgent thing for you to sort out.

Good Luck!

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Posted by Tinker-186005 - 17 years ago

Hi there ,didn't mean to sound so harsh. If you have by mutual agreement been staying at home to care for small children then generally your husband should support you personally for a given period of time i;e; enough time to find a job, learn french etc,if he refuses you then have to go to a tribunal to sort this out. The allocation familliale are generally supportive and reasonably generous and as long as you fill in wads of paperwork you will receive the benefits, if you are really in dire straits they will often give a interim payment until things get sorted out. As for the impot it really makes no difference at the  moment as you have no job and on the last form, it would have gone throughas a married couple, once you are working then an accountant will advise you on the best person to declare the children. You really need to find a good friend who is bilingual or use one of the many translation service available as I said try Admin as they must have a list of accredited agencies; Good luckTinker

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Posted by phalen - 17 years ago

Thanks for your frank answer.  I do not  expect that I should receive alimony for life but simply I heard that in France this was often the case.  In  fact it surprised me too but I thought if that is the law here then I would be better to divorce here than in my home. Of course I would like to work to support myself and kids but I see even bilingual people out of work finding it so hard to get a job so what chance for me with very poor French and small kids at home?

For the lawyer of course they know about alimony and getting child support but they seem totally incapable of advising on tax and family benefit. My lawyer speaks some English to me but all the hard questions have to go to the Impots and my husband doesnt speak French either and he is the tax payer so my lawyer says it is up to him to find out but i can't get him to do this and the French system makes it harder for us. That is what I meant.  like can I have all the family benefit and he have all tax deductions for children for example?  if you ask this to the impots in bad french they look at you like you are pathetic. It is so humiliating.

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Posted by Tinker-186005 - 17 years ago

Its hard to believe that the lawyer you consulted did not know the ins and outs of the financial reprecussions and custody awards, it is not hard to find a bilingual lawyer as most of them are, I presume admin have a list, however they cost as does divorce and why exactly do you think you should receive alimony for life?, especially as you appear to be going for joint custody the kiddies deserve a suitable lifesyle, i.e. what they were used too but it is surely up to you and your huband to solve this, you really have to realise that you are responsible for your own life and not be dependant on a person, why should he fund you?