Receiving financial contributions from your spouse during divorce proceedings

In France, the law requires married partners to provide each other with financial and material assistance if necessary. If you are engaged in divorce proceedings, you can request financial contributions from your spouse.

Verified by Maître Elodie Ramos on 30/04/2022

What is involved?

This financial contribution, which is a maintenance allowance known as a “pension alimentaire au titre du devoir de secours”, can take various forms:

  • the payment of a sum of money every month
  • benefits in kind, e.g. the granting of a marital home free of charge or the repayment of a joint loan
  • a combination of money and benefits in kind.

This maintenance allowance will apply until the divorce is declared definitively.

How do I receive it?

The family judge or “Juge aux affaires familiales (JAF)” may decide to include a maintenance allowance or “pension alimentaire au titre du devoir de secours” in the provisional divorce measures.

They will set the amount of this maintenance allowance according to several criteria relating to the spouses:

  • their income: wages, retirement pensions or disability benefits
  • their employment situation
  • their standard of living
  • their assets: movable assets or property
  • their expenses: living expenses, debt, taxes.

If any of these criteria change for you or them at any given time, the maintenance amount can be reviewed. If this is the case, you must submit an application to the “Juge aux affaires familiales” via your lawyer.

In the event of non-payment

If your ex-partner does not pay the maintenance allowance set by the judge, there are solutions.

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 d'Information sur les Droits des Femmes et des Familles (CIDFF)” helps the general public, especially women, in many areas such as: legal rights, health, employment searches, training, business creation, and even childcare.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • They will be able to inform you of your rights and the steps to take. Some centres can assist you with procedures and paperwork.
    • Languages available: mainly French.
    • Contact: you will find the contact details of the “CIDFF” in your area in this directory.
  • 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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