Ending a French civil partnership or "Pacte civil de solidarité (Pacs)"

If you are in a French civil partnership or “Pacte civil de solidarité (Pacs)” and you want to end it, the procedure is generally quick. You do not need the agreement of your “Pacs” partner.

Verified by Maître Elodie Ramos on 30/04/2022

Ending the "Pacs"

If you have signed a civil partnership under French law or a “Pacte civil de solidarité (Pacs)” and you separate, it is recommended you officially terminate the partnership.

The termination of the civil partnership is known as “dissolution du Pacs”.

If you do not end the civil partnership you will still have legal obligations towards your ex-partner:

  • the obligation to live together
  • the obligation to provide material support
  • the obligation to provide mutual assistance.
  • If you both agree to end the “Pacs”, you can take the following steps:

    • Fill in the “déclaration conjointe de dissolution d’un Pacte civil de solidarité” (joint dissolution declaration) that you can download here.
    • Both of you must sign it.
    • Send it by post to the authority that originally registered your “Pacs”. It could be a town hall or “mairie”, a court, a public official called a “notaire” or a French consulate or embassy.
      • Include a photocopy of a valid identity document for each partner with your letter.
      • Keep a copy of your declaration.
      • Send the letter by registered post with recorded delivery or “lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception”, which is the only way to prove your letter has been received. Keep the receipt as proof of postage.

    In the weeks that follow, you should receive a document confirming the termination of the agreement, called a “confirmation d’enregistrement”. This document is proof that the “Pacs” has been terminated. It will be sent to the address you provided on the declaration form.

    If you have not heard anything after two months, you can contact the authority that received your declaration and ask for an update on its status.

  • You can end the “Pacs” without your partner’s consent. You do not need to justify your decision. To do this, follow these steps:

    • Contact a legal professional called a “huissier”. You can find one near you in this directory.
    • The “huissier” will be responsible for informing your partner of your decision. The "huissier" will serve your partner with a document confirming your wish to end the “Pacs”, known as a “signification du souhait de dissolution du Pacs”. A fee is charged for this service.
    • The “huissier” will then send a copy of this document to the authority that registered your “Pacs”. It could be a town hall or “mairie”, a court, a public official called a “notaire” or a French consulate or embassy.

    In the weeks that follow, you should receive a document confirming the termination of the agreement, called a “confirmation d’enregistrement”. This document is proof that the “Pacs” has been terminated. It will be sent to the address you provided on the declaration form.

    If you have not heard anything after two months, ask the “huissier” to contact the authority that received the document for an update on its status.

After the "Pacs" has been terminated

Once the “Pacs” has ended, you will no longer have any rights and obligations with regards to your ex-partner.

From now on, you will need to file an individual income tax return.

If you have children and you no longer live together, it is important to agree on child custody terms, known as “modalités d’exercice de l’autorité parentale”.

Find support

In France, there are many services that can support you, give you advice, and assist you with procedures and paperwork. Most of them are free of charge.

  • The centres called “point-justice” bring together various organisations that give you legal advice depending on your situation, and sometimes help you with your administrative procedures.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • These centres have many names: “Maison de Justice et du Droit (MJD)”, “Point d’accès au droit (PAD)”, "Relais d’accès au droit (RAD)”, “Antenne de justice (AJ)” or “France services (FS)”.
    • Languages available: mainly French.
    • You can find a “point-justice” near you :
      • on this online directory.
      • by telephone on 3039 from mainland France and on +33 9 70 82 31 90 from overseas. They will ask you for your postal code and put you in touch with a “point-justice”. Languages available: mainly French.
  • A lawyer's role is to defend your rights before, during and after legal proceedings.

    • Be careful to choose a good lawyer.
    • Lawyers have fees that you will need to pay.
    • If you have limited resources, you could be eligible for state financial assistance to pay these fees. This is called "aide juridictionnelle".
    • If you have not had a lawyer recommended to you by a professional or a person you trust, you can look for one on this directory which lists all the lawyers in France. You can search by languages spoken and legal specialisation.

While the utmost care has gone into providing you with the most accurate and up to date information, this page is not intended to replace legal or professional advice. Laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult qualified professionals.

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