Make sense of.....The French Pacs

If you are living in France with a partner and want to formalise the relationship, you have two options: marriage or Pacs

The Pacte Civil de Solidarité (Pacs) is 20 years old and continues to grow in popularity as an alternative to marriage.

It was originally aimed at same-sex couples and was then opened to all in 2013.

In 2016, there were 233,000 marriages and 191,000 Pacses (including 7,000 same-sex Pacses, the same as gay marriages).

A Pacs suits couples wanting legal recognition but fewer obligations. It is simpler and cheaper to enter into and each partner is free to break it without giving a reason.

In the latter case, no financial compensation is due unless previously agreed.

While it is sometimes possible to obtain legal compensation for breaking the Pacs in an “abusive” way – for example, if one partner throws the other out with no warning – there is no legal expectation of fidelity, as there is in marriage.

Just like in a marriage, the couple should live together and give mutual support (in financial terms, this is ...

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