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Obtaining a divorce in french law : simplification versus complexity


Divorce law has recently known two important reforms. The first, implemented by the law of November 18, 2016 introduced non-judicial divorce in French law. The second, implemented by the law of March 23rd, 2019 reformed the applicable procedures pertaining to contentious divorce, introducing deep modifications for certain forms of contentious divorce. These reforms have had a direct impact on our research initially based on the law of May 26, 2004 which is still applicable until January 1st 2021. The objective was to assess the May 26, 2004 law after more than a decade of application, in order to determine whether the legislator’s objectives have been achieved, and if not, to determine to what extent they could be better achieved. Divorce affecting the very existence of the family - in the traditional sense of this word – depending on harmonious relationship between spouses, the whole difficulty is for the legislator to ensure a balance between the interests involved. On one hand, it may seem necessary to protect the general interest by putting limits on the dissolution of marriage, and on the other, to safeguard the particular interests of spouses, allowing them to get a divorce, namely, to end their union, if that is their desire. Following the spirit of the 2004 law, the latest reforms were increasingly moving towards the liberalization of divorce. Nevertheless and paradoxically, getting a divorce is not become so easy. This study will show that divorce law has become more and more complex with the reforms, even as the legislator increasingly seek to take into account the individual will of spouses who no longer wish to remain married.

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