Parisian and Alicante Bar Associations

The French Civil Code and the confession of privativity of patrimony made by a spouse married in community

Article 1434 of the French Civil Code, in its wording given by Law No. 85-1372 of December 23, 1985 – art. JORF 16 of December 26, 1985, in force since July 1, 1986, provides that:

“It will be considered that an investment or reinvestment has been made in relation to a spouse in any case in which, within the framework of an acquisition, it would have been declared that it was made with amounts of own money or proceeds from the alienation of a own property, and as an investment or reinvestment of the same. In the absence of said declaration in the deed, the investment or reinvestment may only occur by mutual agreement between the spouses, and will only take effect within the framework of their reciprocal relations.”

It is convenient to interpret it as follows:

  • The privacy statement made unilaterally by the purchasing spouse at the time of acquisition, will be opposable to any person. However, if the non-purchasing spouse does not immediately ratify said declaration, he or she will have the power to object by providing the contrary evidence a posteriori.
  • When the purchasing spouse forgets to make the privacy statement at the time of purchase, he or she will lose the possibility of invoking it a posteriori (see, in this regard, the judgment of the French Supreme Court of 02/27/2013); On the other hand, the non-purchasing spouse may, in this case, recognize the exclusive nature a posteriori, but said recognition will only be enforceable against the latter and not with respect to third parties.
  • The confession of privacy by the spouses at the time of acquisition will be valid and opposable to any person.

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