top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Is French pension body allowed to seize money?

My husband is in dispute with Cipav, the pension body for self-employed professionals,  over unpaid contributions. A court found in its favour and we are in negotiation to work out a payment plan. My husband and myself have received letters from our bank for a saisie-attribution on our joint account. As the debt belongs to my husband, can Cipav block a joint account?   J.L.

In theory, this depends on your marriage regime.

Marriage regimes set the legal structure between the couple to the marriage.

At one end, there is communauté universelle, where all your assets are owned by the couple. 

The other extreme is séparation de biens, where you own your assets in your own names directly.

Under international law, you are deemed to have the French equivalent of the regime you had before arriving, which is determined by the country in which you, as a couple, spent the first two years of your marriage. If this was the UK, unless you have changed the regime via a notaire in France, you have a “tenancy in common” regime, which equates to séparation de biens.

As to your question, therefore, under the communauté this covers the bank accounts, and so Cipav would have a right to your joint bank account even though the debt is your husband’s.

On the other hand, if you have the séparation de biens regime, in theory the account should be divided according to which of you own the funds therein.

Generally, it is customary to split the account into two, in which case Cipav should be able to access only those funds that belong to your husband.

It would be best to seek advice from an avocat.


Reader's query answered by Hugh MacDonald

The Connexion welcomes queries and regularly publishes a selection with answers. However, please note that we cannot enter into individual correspondence on money topics. Queries may be edited for length and style. Due to the sensitive nature of topics we do not publish full names or addresses on these pages. Send your financial query to

The information here is of a general nature. You should not act or refrain from acting on it without taking professional advice on the specific facts of your case. No liability is accepted in respect of these articles. These articles are intended only as a general guide. Nothing herein constitutes actual financial advice

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now