SHARE
COPY LINK

MARRIAGE

Top reasons why you should marry a French person

An American online writer, who married a Frenchman, says wedding a French person is the perfect solution. And not just for those looking for a French passport.

Top reasons why you should marry a French person
Photo: Damien Roué/Flickr
The Brexit vote result has forced many people in France to scramble for options to secure their future in France, with one popular alternative being to marry a French person.
 
But according to the American writer behind the Oui In France blog, there are many more advantages to marrying a French person than simply getting a European passport. 
 
You loosen up over time
 
Making a fool out of yourself when you confuse words in front of people who matter is always a good time and after the first one hundred missteps, you’ll learn to laugh at yourself. Everyone likes someone who can make fun of themselves, right? And anyway, your new spouse is your own private tutor anyway, so your skills will improve dramatically. 
 
Photo: AFP
 
The accent never gets old
 
There’s something about hearing my husband speak that makes me smile. Maybe it’s because I don’t know if he’s saying Missouri or misery, or focus or “f–k us”. A French accent is infinitely cooler than an American one. The pronunciation, the intonation and the cute mannerisms just make you swoon. Daily. Multiple times. Forever. 
 
Why we think the French all wear berets and carry onionsPhoto: Photonquantique/Flickr
 
It’s fun to hear people botch your new French surname
 
If you choose to take on your French spouse's name, then you might be in for some fun. For my surname, Wargnier, I've heard every permeation you can think of. And that’ll be a regular occurrence at doctors’ offices, for restaurant reservations and whenever a telemarketer calls if you’re outside of France. 
 
If your last name is Smith or something equally unexciting, you’ll be thrilled to marry a French person for the cool last name alone. You get a fancy new last name that will have your friends and family struggling every time they try to say it. Let the good times roll.
 
You’ll make bilingual babies (if you do it right)
 
Nothing makes me more envious than little squirts who are barely up to your knees and can speak more than one language. So if you marry a French person and decide to have kids, you’ll pop out little bilingual geniuses that you’ll always have around to make fun of your accent and correct you in front of people you’re trying to impress. And if that’s not enough, bilingual kids just up your cool factor. Like, tenfold.
 
Mais oui mama, I love you. Photo: Anaïs/Flickr
 
Because mother-in-law interactions are more fun in French
 
Regular mother-in-law dynamics are a load of fun when she’s your same nationality, but when she’s French and doesn’t speak English? Well, you’ve got yourself a bunch of fun-filled afternoons. Then add in the fact that you took away her son (or daughter) and that really makes for fun holidays.
 
You can feel like a master at English
 
If your partner doesn't speak perfect English, they'll undoubtedly have questions about the English language or American culture. Take pride in providing him with the answers and explanations that will make you feel like you know your stuff. It helps to appear really confident while doing so.
 
You can be the Shakespeare of the relationship. 
 
You can use the “That’s how we do it back home” excuse to your advantage
 
When you marry a French guy, take opportunities to teach your man about your culture whenever you can, even if sometimes it’s a fib. Feel like making a weird recipe for dinner? Well, it’s an American tradition. Have an odd habit? Oh, everyone does that back home. You don’t want to give me a nightly foot massage? Well, American men do that without us having to ask and it’s part of our culture. The answer to everything is always, “That’s how we do it back home”.
 
Photo: Hamza Butt/Flickr
 
You can use the “That’s how they do it in France” excuse to your advantage
 
Here's one for if you choose to live outside of France, or for when you’re back visiting family. Every time my friends or family ask about my little croissant habit, I tell them I’m just being respectful of my husband’s French culture.
 
Where appropriate, use this excuse when you’re taking daily afternoon siestas, cutting in line or doing other things that may or may not be French. It’s only natural to show your guy and the rest of the world that you’re immersing yourself in his culture, so I say embrace away (even if you take it a bit far sometimes).
 
You always have an excuse to take a vacation
 
Depending on where you’re living, you can turn a visit to see the family into an action packed vacation. And then make up excuses to go visit whenever your job has you down or you’re feeling stressed. And who doesn’t love a little jaunt overseas every now and again?
 
Photo: Steve Bennett/Flickr
 
Because everyone likes a challenge
 
Challenges keep us growing as human beings and moving forward. From the language to the distance to the culture shock, marrying a French guy may come with some hurdles. But it’s worth it. What’s life without a challenge? 
 
You learn what patience really is
 
From being asked the same questions by those who hear you’re American to letting your man stumble his way through a difficult sentence, patience truly is a virtue and one that will make you a better wife or husband — even if you don’t realize it at the time. Marrying a French person  has its fair share of difficulties just like any relationship and while it’s certainly different from marrying someone from your own culture, it’s a lot of fun as well.
 
And what’s the point of living if you don’t keep it interesting? So go on, marry a French guy!

To read more from the US blogger visit OuiInFrance, click here.

Are you a blogger based in France? Would you like to share your musings on life here with The Local's readers in a guest blog? Email us at [email protected]

MARRIAGE

The divorce law pitfalls in France that foreigners need to be aware of

France now has an out-of-court divorce option designed to make the process simpler and less expensive, but as Paris-based lawyer Caterina Guidiceandrea warns, it has some pitfalls for non-French people.

The divorce law pitfalls in France that foreigners need to be aware of
Happy ever after? Maybe not. Photo: AFP

In France it is now possible for couples to divorce without going through a long and sometimes expensive court process by signing a divorce agreement – but this may not be ideal for couples where one or both person is not French.

What is an out-of-court divorce and how does it work?

On January 1st 2017, the divorce par consentement mutuel (divorce by mutual consent) was created, allowing couples to acknowledge their consent to divorce in an extra-judicial contract without a court proceeding.

To divorce by mutual consent, it is essential that couples agree on all aspects of their divorce with the help of their respective lawyers. They especially need to settle the consequences of the divorce on their children (custody and residence), on their assets and all financial measures (alimony and compensatory allowance).

READ ALSO


The consent reached by the couple is then set out in a divorce agreement, prepared by the parties’ lawyers. Following a 15 day cooling-off period, the divorce agreement is signed by the spouses and countersigned by each lawyer.

Once signed, the agreement is submitted to a French notaire for registration. Registration is what makes the divorce agreement enforceable in France.

How long does it take to get a get an extra-judicial divorce?

Signing a divorce agreement is the quickest way to divorce in France.

Whilst the duration clearly depends on how the negotiations between the couple progress, it is technically possible to sign and register a divorce agreement in France within approximately one month.

Can I sign the divorce agreement remotely?

No, it is not possible to sign the divorce agreement remotely. Both spouses and their respective lawyers need to be physically present on the day of signing.

The French National Bar Association clearly indicated, on February 8th 2019, that “the divorce agreement by mutual consent without a judge must be signed in the physical presence and simultaneously by the parties and the attorneys mentioned in the agreement, without substitution or possible delegation”.

This requirement has not changed since Covid-19.


I am not French, can I sign a divorce agreement?

Yes, you can sign a divorce agreement even if you are not French. However you must have a sufficient connection to France, based on your habitual residence or on your spouse’s French nationality.

International couples should however be very careful when signing a divorce agreement as not all countries recognise this type of divorce.

As the divorce agreement is entered into out of court – except when a minor child requests to be heard in court – public authorities from certain countries do not recognise and enforce this type of divorce. This is for instance the case in certain States in the USA.

In practice, this means that, a couple having signed and registered a French divorce agreement, would be considered as divorced in France, however still be married in their home country/countries if local authorities refuse to register and enforce the contract.

Enforcing a divorce agreement outside of France could also be problematic for expats who move countries on a regular basis.

It is essential to assess the possibility of signing a divorce agreement with your lawyer to ensure that it is enforceable and will be registered outside of France.

Should the French out-of-court divorce not be recognised by the authorities in your country of origin or should it not be appropriate, it will be necessary to take the matter to court.

Caterina Giudiceandrea is a registered lawyer in Paris, France www.legal-gc.com
 

SHOW COMMENTS