Only some 50 marriages are
performed each year for every 10,000 citizens – the
lowest per capita number in Europe. As in many other
Western countries, the average age for marriage is
increasing and is almost 30 for men and 28 for women, who
on average give birth for the first time at just under
30. Almost 7.5m French citizens live without a partner,
around 1m of whom are divorcees, and the number is
growing each year.
statistics for France...
To be divorced ‘by mutual consent’ ( divorce par
consentement mutuel or divorce sur demande
conjointe), you must have been married for at least six
months. Other types of divorce are ‘consent to divorce but not
to consequences’ ( divorce sur demande acceptée),
divorce based on fault ( divorce pour faute) such as
adultery, and divorce based on termination of married life (
divorce pour rupture de la vie commune).
As in most other Western countries, the divorce rate has
risen alarmingly (by around 40 per cent) in the last decade in
France, where more than a third of marriages end in divorce
(there was even a best-selling Divorce magazine!),
although it’s still lower than in some other European
countries, e.g. the UK. You can be divorced under French law
only when either spouse is a French citizen or when two
non-French spouses are resident in France.
The grounds for a divorce needn’t be disclosed, provided
both parties agree on the repercussions such as the division of
property, custody of children, alimony and maintenance. A
divorce is usually granted automatically by a judge, although
he may order a delay of three months for reflection. A divorce
becomes final one month after judgement or two months if it has
gone to appeal. A contested divorce must be decided by a court