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Cohabitation and separation

As concubinage is a free union, it can also be broken quite freely.


The concubine “victim” of the separation can, provided to prove the existence of a fault, a prejudice and a causal link between the two to obtain repair (on the foundation of the article 1382 of the Civil Code ).

However, the fault invoked must not be the break itself …

In addition, the case law agrees to compensate the abandoned concubine by considering that the one who broke the concubinage has an obligation not to leave in need the one who finds himself alone.

It happens, especially if the concubinage has lasted a long time, that one of the cohabitants is employee of the other: in this case, if the separation intervenes at the same time as the rupture of the contract of work and that the employee does not have After having been settled at the end of cohabitation, he may ask the Labor Court to pay his salary up to a maximum of five years back.

More rarely, if the collaboration between the cohabitants was free (for example, one of the cohabitants helped the other in his professional activity for no consideration), an action “in rem verso” (for enrichment without cause) can be introduced but it is necessary to prove that there is an impoverishment and a correlative enrichment without cause.


Most often, it is the question of housing that will arise during the separation.

If it is a rental, the tenant who gives leave does not allow the abandoned partner to automatically benefit from the continuity of the lease (the lessor can therefore ask him to leave the premises).

However, if it is proven that the abandonment of the home took place in a brutal and unpredictable way and that cohabitation was not only notorious but had lasted more than a year, the transfer of lease will be automatic.

If one of the cohabitants is the owner of the house, he can ask the other to leave.

In case of joint acquisition of a dwelling, it is the rules of indivision that apply.

This is where the difficulties usually begin, because it will be necessary to share and prove who participated in the financing of the property and how high …

Before 1999, the liberality between cohabitants could have an immoral cause (for example if they were intended to maintain the relationship of concubinage) and, therefore, be canceled.

Since a judgment of 3 February 1999, they are valid in any case.

The property object of the liberality can not be asked for restitution during the separation.


Natural children (recognized by their parents) have the same rights as legitimate children.

Parents can get along with each other regarding children and therefore do not go to court to get a decision about it (a rare case).

Most often, they will apply to the Family Justice Judge to see him render a judgment on the parental authority, the child’s residence, the right of access and accommodation and, possibly, the pension. food.