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Read this on the Bank's news letter today. Youngest son is not impressed and wants to know if children can disown their parents!

Aidants : quelles obligations légales envers les ascendants ?

Les enfants ont l’obligation d’aider leurs parents ou beaux-parents dans le besoin. Cette obligation dite « alimentaire » (1) regroupe en fait tout ce qui est nécessaire à la vie courante : nourriture mais aussi hébergement, vêtements, soins médicaux, etc... Explications.

Qui est concerné par l’obligation alimentaire ?

Les descendants – enfants, petits-enfants, etc. – ont l’obligation d’aider leurs ascendants – parents, grands-parents, etc.

L’obligation alimentaire concerne aussi les « alliés en ligne directe », autrement dit les gendres et belles-filles vis-à-vis de leurs beaux-parents.

Bon à savoir

L’obligation envers les beaux-parents prend fin en cas de divorce ou de décès du conjoint.

L’enfant peut être déchargé de ses obligations dans des cas où le parent a lui-même gravement manqué à ses devoirs de parent.

Dans quelles conditions se décide une obligation alimentaire ?

Pour pouvoir réclamer une obligation alimentaire, l’ascendant doit prouver qu’il est dans le besoin, c’est-à-dire que ses revenus (salaires, aides sociales, pension de retraite, revenus fonciers, etc.) ne lui permettent pas de couvrir ses dépenses de nourriture, vêtements, logement, santé, etc...

Pour décider du montant éventuel de la pension, le juge tient compte de tous les revenus du descendant, y compris de ceux de son époux(se) et de ses charges – qui doivent être justifiées.
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Yes, I knew someone who did this. His mother had died, his father had remarried and had another family, and my friend had a difficult relationship with his MIL and his half-brother and sister. Eventually they came to an agreement where he renounced his eventual inheritance (ie he and is father 'disowned' each other as you would put it), in exchange for an agreed donation to my friend from his father. This kept MIL happy because it meant that the full inheritance would pass to the children from her marriage. The legal side of it was dealt with by a notaire.

It works both ways of course - if you renounce your parents, they also have no obligations towards you and you are no longer a protected heir.

Whether a notaire will always do this if one waits until one is in a situation where the intention is solely to shunt responsibility for one's parents onto the state, I don't know.
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 I knew this, and remember Hereford's postings on the subject too.  I did not know about the lack of "duty of care" of the parent negating it though. 

I do wonder just how many people who come to live in France are not aware of this, and if it might have made a difference to their decisions to come here .. happily, I am now the "elder" in my family (by all of 20 mins), but with no children, it has never been in my plans to have to do this, as I have no-one to do it for me!

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Well I have mentioned this on here on several occasions, my neighbour had to pay for her grandmother's care.

Goodness Lehaut you took french nationality, don't they mention that when you take it, the family responsibility...... in both directions........ ie descendants cannot be disinherited and that they have a duty of care to ascendants.

In my mind this is one of the good family laws. As everywhere some others are rubbish.

Re the beaux parents, I have a feeling that it used be the case that under certain marriage regimes, that the beaux fils/fille 's own money did not count towards the income considered for making payments, but this may have changed.

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idun, when we took French nationality it was not one of the areas we considered, if (and when) our two boys stop studying and eventually get a job, its a useful back stop - unless of course they can prove we were dreadful parents!

I had heard of it in general terms when we helped to get an older lady into a home here, but had never seen it written down so comprehensively.
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I have pointed out this 'jigsaw' more than once on this Forum

Parents and children are seen as mutually solidaire and that is written into French law.

It is one of the things that makes me smile when I read of 'living our French dream' from people who have no real idea of many of the facets of French life (this is not a dig at Lehaut)

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