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Family implications of a Brexit relocation to France
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Couples relocating to France as part of Brexit arrangements should consider carefully in advance how the relocation will affect the arrangements between them and what steps they should take before the move. By becoming resident in France there may be unexpected consequences such as deemed changes in asset ownership succession issues and the position on any divorce. The assets available to any third party creditors or trustee in bankruptcy will also depend on the matrimonial regime (whether it is chosen or deemed). Anyone who is a trustee settlor or beneficiary of a trust should also take advice before moving to France.
All couples in France are deemed to be married under a matrimonial regime. This may either be by default or by choice (if they enter into a marriage contract). The marriage contract determines what each couple owns and is entitled to when the marriage ends either on divorce or on death. A French marriage contract is very different to an English prenuptial agreement. A marriage contract is part of French law and there are detailed rules on how shares are worked out.
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