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in France 

Under French law, there is a clear distinction between financial measures ordered “during” and “after” divorce proceedings.

During divorce proceedings, one of the spouses may be ordered to pay interim spousal support for the benefit of the spouse who cannot cover his or her own needs so as to maintain a standard of living comparable to that which existed prior to the proceedings. Unless there is a change in the circumstances, it cannot be withdrawn until the divorce has been ordered and has become final. Such measures can last a long time as the average duration of divorce proceedings handled by the French courts was 25.8 months in 2018.

After the divorce proceedings, the judge may award a compensatory allowance (which usually takes the form of a lump sum payment) to replace the existing interim support. It is determined according to the needs of the creditor and the resources of the debtor, considering the evolution of the situation in the foreseeable future, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the spouses, their professional qualifications and situation, the consequences of the professional choices made by one of the spouses during their life together for the education of the children, their respective pension situations, etc. It should be noted that one divorce out of five provides for a compensatory allowance and that, on average, the amount of the compensatory allowance is 25,000 euros.

Regarding child maintenance, it is based on the parent’s income and financial resources and the child’s needs, and will vary according to the amount of time the child effectively resides with his or her mother or father. It does not cease when the child reaches the age of 18 but is payable until the child can cover his or her own needs and has completed, where applicable, secondary or university education.

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