Domestic Family Law

A couple may choose to cohabitate or to be united in a civil union (PACS) or in marriage. Each type of union comes with different rights and duties for the members of the couple.



In France, marriage is open to both heterosexual couples and same-sex couples.

When they get married, spouses may choose their matrimonial property regime in a marriage contract signed before a notary, and may amend this regime during their marriage. The Alexandre Boiché firm can help you draft or amend a marriage contract.

Marriage brings about rights and duties for the spouses. Under Article 212 of the French Civil Code, spouses owe one another mutual respect, faithfulness, support and assistance. Together, the spouses also provide for the moral guidance and material needs of the family and the upbringing of their children. Spouses are obligated to contribute to household expenses.

Spouses are jointly liable to third parties for debts incurred for household needs. The spouses’ home, regardless of whether it belongs to both spouses or to one spouse, is protected; it cannot be sold without the approval of both spouses.

A marriage is dissolved by divorce or by the death of one of the spouses.


Civil Union (PACS)

By entering into a civil union (PACS), partners agree to share a household and provide material support and mutual assistance to one another. Except for joint liability toward third parties for debts incurred for daily needs, civil unions do not have an effect on the partners’ estates, unless the partners agree otherwise.

A PACS agreement sets forth the commitments the partners are undertaking. The Alexandre Boiché firm can help you draft this agreement.

A PACS must then be registered at city hall or with a notary.

A PACS is dissolved by the death of one of the partners, by a joint declaration by both partners or by a unilateral declaration by one of the partners.



Cohabitation is a de facto union, characterized by a shared household that has a stable and continuous nature, between two persons of opposite sexes or of the same sex who live together as a couple. It is a type of union that does not have a legal framework.

However, this type of union does have legal consequences if the couple separates when there are minor children or jointly acquired real estate.

Domestic family law


In principle, married couples can only end their marriage by going through divorce proceedings. However, other types of separation exist and have very different effects.


Children’s lives may be subject to legal intervention at various points, for example, when establishing parentage or organizing their relationships with their parents.

Protection of Adults

People who have reached majority and are considered vulnerable due to their situation (physical, psychological or social) may be protected by a judicial protective order covering both their person and their estate.

Estate Management and Transfer of Assets

An estate is generally transferred after death, but we can also plan for how your assets will be transferred and optimize your tax options.

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