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Home > Families and Couples > Separation > At the time of separation, can a spouse be compensated for disparities that were created during co-habitation?

At the time of separation, can a spouse be compensated for disparities that were created during co-habitation?

The court may order one of the spouses to pay the other compensation to re-balance the material situation of the couple at the time of separation. This allowance is provided in the event that one spouse’s contribution was so significant that it allowed the other spouse to become richer in property or services (business, immovables, etc.). Lawyers specializing in this field agree that this disparity almost always affects the wife. Disparity occurs in the following cases: the wife has no personal income, her age or health do not allow her to enter the labour market, she participated in her husband's activities without being paid, she devoted herself to raising the children born of the union and will likely continue to care for them in the future.

In declaring separation from bed and board, divorce, dissolution of civil union or nullity of marriage or civil union, the court may order the spouse who has become richer to pay a sum of money or give property as compensation to the other spouse. The same applies in the case of death. If the dissolution of the civil union takes places before a notary, the spouses may enter into an agreement on the compensation they deem appropriate.