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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Legal community
Universal community
Separation of property
Joint ownership of acquired property
Community of property

What are these different "types" of marital status mean - this is from bank account paperwork.

We are just regular married. LOL

KJ
 

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Legal community
Universal community
Separation of property
Joint ownership of acquired property
Community of property

What are these different "types" of marital status mean - this is from bank account paperwork.

We are just regular married. LOL

KJ
KJ, I'm beginning to believe there is no such thing as just regular in France.

I can't wait for the definition of Universal communtiy.

So now we have this to look forward to open a bank account? Do you mind sharing which bank?
 

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"just regular married"? not in France!

It's important in France because of inheritance laws - especially if either partner has children from earlier ....earlier whatever!

I think universal means all the assets go into the communal pot and are split 50 / 50 when necessary.

Separation of property "biens" I understand that!. We married in our 60s and brought assets and children from our previous lives. Under our separation of biens regime we keep our own assets, to be distributed to our individual heirs on death. I think our only legal common asset is the monthly housekeeping......however dustbins seem to belong to me, and the washing machine to her!

It's important for the bank because they have to do things when one of you dies...or in the case of divorce. Others can be more helpful on what to do to avoid complications. Ask the bank, it's everyday stuff for them.

DejW

Legal community
Universal community
Separation of property
Joint ownership of acquired property
Community of property

What are these different "types" of marital status mean - this is from bank account paperwork.

We are just regular married. LOL

KJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We have an HSBC account in the US and will open an HSBC in Carcassonne when we arrive, but I was trying to do it online, which they offer. But after filling everything out today - the site just dumped me. Figures.

We are finally leaving this Tuesday!!! Bags are packed and we are ready to go!!

KJ



:plane:
 

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good luck, Carcassonne and surrounding area is lovely.....esp the wine.

DejW



We have an HSBC account in the US and will open an HSBC in Carcassonne when we arrive, but I was trying to do it online, which they offer. But after filling everything out today - the site just dumped me. Figures.

We are finally leaving this Tuesday!!! Bags are packed and we are ready to go!!

KJ



:plane:
 

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In France, when you get married, there is a default property regime which you fall into. For those married overseas (like you) the "default" property arrangement depends on where and when you were married. (In the US, the closest example is "community property" - like they have or had in Nevada and New York.)

In France, if you don't want the default regime, you have to make a contract before you get married - otherwise you have to wait at least two years to change your regime (and pay all the associated notaire fees to make the change). The banks need to know this stuff so they know how to set up your account.

I've got to rush off, but you can look up the various nuances of the regimes online (usually, though, in French). Not sure in translation, but I'm guessing that "legal community" is the default regime here. More on the details when I get back online later today.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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OK, small correction - someone PMd me to say that whatever the regime in NYS, it's not called "community property" and I know it did or does differ from what California called community property.

Anyhow, to add to DejW's comments, a quick intro to marital regimes in France:

Basically the marital regimes fix the ownership of property within a marriage. This only really becomes important in the event of the death of one of the partners or in the case of divorce, when it determines how (and to whom) the property is distributed.

The regimes deal primarily with a) all property brought into the marriage by each of the partners and b) property acquired during the course of the marriage. Property here refers to land, houses, cars and also bank accounts and investments (which is why HSBC needs to know this stuff). There are a variety of possibilities, and the six (I think it is) regimes are basically a mix-and-match of the possibilities.

For property brought into the marriage - it usually remains the exclusive property of the spouse who owned it prior to the marriage. There may be a way it can be merged with the "communal property" (i.e. the property that belongs to both spouses) but I'm not sure of that one or how you would do such a thing.

For property acquired during the marriage, "usually" again it is presumed to be owned 50-50 between the two spouses as long as it was acquired with "communal funds" (i.e. money earned during the marriage). In the event of separation de biens, this doesn't go at all. A house, or joint bank account, belongs to each partner in the ratio in which they contributed the funds to purchase (or fill the account).

And then, there are rules that relate to things like inheritances. If one spouse inherits from their parents, that inheritance usually remains the sole property of the heir and cannot be mixed into the communal property.

The fun starts in marriages where one or both of the spouses was married before and/or has one or more children from a prior relationship. The "universelle" regimes, while they allow the surviving spouse to take possession of the decedant's property, will then automatically pass the estate to the children of the decedent on the passing of the surviving spouse. If a couple chooses this regime when the children are adults, the children must consent to their parents' regime before they can adopt it.

And, of course much other "fun and games" when the regimes are combined with the French inheritance laws. As long as you know what you're getting yourself into, it does eliminate an awful lot of the bickering over estates (well, except for families like the Bettencourts) - but most newly arrived Americans, at least, are initially outraged at the State "meddling in" how their stuff is divided up. There is an option to have your estate distributed under the laws of your home country, but be careful with this, because although this gets around some of the more "arbitrary" of the inheritance laws, French inheritance tax rates still apply to the distribution and that can be a NASTY shock.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Thank you Bev.

A famous English author, so famous that I've forgotten his name, said "Advice to those about to get married......don't" (or at least until you've worked out which regime you want)

DejW

OK, small correction - someone PMd me to say that whatever the regime in NYS, it's not called "community property" and I know it did or does differ from what California called community property.

Anyhow, to add to DejW's comments, a quick intro to marital regimes in France:

Basically the marital regimes fix the ownership of property within a marriage. This only really becomes important in the event of the death of one of the partners or in the case of divorce, when it determines how (and to whom) the property is distributed.

The regimes deal primarily with a) all property brought into the marriage by each of the partners and b) property acquired during the course of the marriage. Property here refers to land, houses, cars and also bank accounts and investments (which is why HSBC needs to know this stuff). There are a variety of possibilities, and the six (I think it is) regimes are basically a mix-and-match of the possibilities.

For property brought into the marriage - it usually remains the exclusive property of the spouse who owned it prior to the marriage. There may be a way it can be merged with the "communal property" (i.e. the property that belongs to both spouses) but I'm not sure of that one or how you would do such a thing.

For property acquired during the marriage, "usually" again it is presumed to be owned 50-50 between the two spouses as long as it was acquired with "communal funds" (i.e. money earned during the marriage). In the event of separation de biens, this doesn't go at all. A house, or joint bank account, belongs to each partner in the ratio in which they contributed the funds to purchase (or fill the account).

And then, there are rules that relate to things like inheritances. If one spouse inherits from their parents, that inheritance usually remains the sole property of the heir and cannot be mixed into the communal property.

The fun starts in marriages where one or both of the spouses was married before and/or has one or more children from a prior relationship. The "universelle" regimes, while they allow the surviving spouse to take possession of the decedant's property, will then automatically pass the estate to the children of the decedent on the passing of the surviving spouse. If a couple chooses this regime when the children are adults, the children must consent to their parents' regime before they can adopt it.

And, of course much other "fun and games" when the regimes are combined with the French inheritance laws. As long as you know what you're getting yourself into, it does eliminate an awful lot of the bickering over estates (well, except for families like the Bettencourts) - but most newly arrived Americans, at least, are initially outraged at the State "meddling in" how their stuff is divided up. There is an option to have your estate distributed under the laws of your home country, but be careful with this, because although this gets around some of the more "arbitrary" of the inheritance laws, French inheritance tax rates still apply to the distribution and that can be a NASTY shock.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK - still confused - so which to choose? We will have no assets except our joint bank account (that we earned and contributed together) and the 1/4 share in our boat. If we buy anything like a car, for instance, it would be owned jointly, although we don't plan on it.

Does it only affect the French account monies? Should we keep most of our funds in the US then? As far as the 1/4 share in the boat - it is British registered, owned by us, 2 other US couples, and one couple in Australia, but registered to only one person to make it simple, the Aussie with a British address, and I don't see how anyone would know about it.

Gene and I have no children, but he has 3 children from his first marriage. All of our parents have passed, so no inheritance in the future.

Thanks,
KJ
 

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Actually, you don't get to choose. It's based on what the "default" arrangement is where and when you got married - though for most Americans, I suspect you'll be considered to fall under "Legal Community" (I suspect that's why it's listed first - however I am unsure of the translated titles they are using.)

Wikipedia has a good article (in French) on the regimes (with little Venn diagrams to assist) https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droit_des_régimes_matrimoniaux_en_France

They list 5 regimes, whereas a couple of legal sites I checked list only 4. However it's still unclear to me the translated titles your bank is using.

In any event, where one of you has kids and the other doesn't you'll probably want to understand a bit more about these regimes before you get involved in any investment (including buying a house) in France.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Bev's last paragraph is critical! If either of you have children from an earlier life then for house purchase etc you need advice from a notaire.

DejW


Actually, you don't get to choose. It's based on what the "default" arrangement is where and when you got married - though for most Americans, I suspect you'll be considered to fall under "Legal Community" (I suspect that's why it's listed first - however I am unsure of the translated titles they are using.)

Wikipedia has a good article (in French) on the regimes (with little Venn diagrams to assist) https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droit_des_régimes_matrimoniaux_en_France

They list 5 regimes, whereas a couple of legal sites I checked list only 4. However it's still unclear to me the translated titles your bank is using.

In any event, where one of you has kids and the other doesn't you'll probably want to understand a bit more about these regimes before you get involved in any investment (including buying a house) in France.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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One other note. You can change regimes, but you'll run up the costs of transferring title to all the assets involved - usually "several" thousand euros. Or there are arrangements you can make for just a couple hundred euros - purchase of a house under a "tontine" arrangement or drawing up a "donation entre époux" that will mitigate the inconveniences, though not eliminate them entirely.

For your situation, though, the main thing is that his children will receive 3/4 of his estate (divided among them equally) and you are entitled to the remaining one-quarter. On his death, his children no longer have any financial obligations toward you. With a donation entre époux, you can get the choice between the 1/4 of the estate, and taking the full estate in usufruit (meaning you get use of all assets, including the right to all income derived from the assets) while his children retain the ownership rights (like the right to sell the property). (And you don't have to choose until the time comes.)

One of the "universelle" regimes allows you to take his entire estate on his death - but to change to this regime, his children all have to approve of the change. On your death, all his assets pass to his children.

There is time enough to look into this after you arrive. Normally things work out just fine (despite the initial shock) unless there are or may be tensions within the family. But a visit to the notaire is a good first step.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi,
Your" regular marriage " (which I assume was in the USA) , will come under the laws of the state where the marriage took place (not all states have the same legal arrangement for the spouses assets). Contact the state administration and ask for a detailed explanation of their marriage property law. You will almost certainly find that it fits one of the categories you list.
If you are staying resident in France , and wish to keep your present legal marriage property regime , you should visit a notaire and make a notarised "declaration" to stay under that regime - under the Hague convention on marital property rights - if you don't do this , after 10 years residence you will automatically fall into the french "legal" regime , which is " joint ownership of acquired property" on your list.
 

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HI Parsnippy....good to hear from you.


Hague Convention??? Marital Property rights.....I'm dumbfounded by your contribution. How interesting! And silly old me thought that the Hague Convention referred to the wireless spectrum in time of war....1907.......but it's a very small part of a much bigger treaty about gentlemanly conduct in war....doesn't seem to have caught on as an idea?

Still totally amazed....DejW



Hi,
Your" regular marriage " (which I assume was in the USA) , will come under the laws of the state where the marriage took place (not all states have the same legal arrangement for the spouses assets). Contact the state administration and ask for a detailed explanation of their marriage property law. You will almost certainly find that it fits one of the categories you list.
If you are staying resident in France , and wish to keep your present legal marriage property regime , you should visit a notaire and make a notarised "declaration" to stay under that regime - under the Hague convention on marital property rights - if you don't do this , after 10 years residence you will automatically fall into the french "legal" regime , which is " joint ownership of acquired property" on your list.
 
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