What are the effects of “separation from bed and board”?

Separation from bed and board can only result from a court judgment which sets out the legal effects of separation, including custody, child support and the partition of certain property.

Separation from bed and board can only result from a court judgment which sets out the legal effects of separation, including custody, child support and the partition of certain property.

When “community of life” (cohabitation) with the other spouse is no longer desired and a divorce is not immediately possible, separation from bed and board may be the appropriate choice. It does not break the bond of marriage since the spouses are still married, but it frees them from the obligation of living together.

The effects of separation are as follows:

  • Despite the judgment, the spouses are still legally married and are unable to remarry
  • The spouses no longer have to live together, but the other duties and obligations resulting from marriage continue
  • The matrimonial regime becomes that of separation as to property

Why request separation from bed and board?

There are different grounds for requesting separation from bed and board, including:

  • Religious reasons
  • Financial reasons
  • There are no grounds for divorce, given that less than a year has passed since the spouses stopped living together and no adultery or physical or mental cruelty has occurred.

Unlike an application for divorce, it is not necessary to state the reasons for the application for separation from bed and board. It is a way of achieving legal separation of property. However, the bonds of marriage remain and the spouses will have to partition the family patrimony in the event of a divorce.

Do not hesitate to consult a family mediator, who can then prepare a draft agreement that addresses your wishes. In this case, the agreement would be a joint application for separation from bed and board. The mediating notary can submit this application to the court, which will render a judgment. Once community of life has ceased for one year, it will then be possible to file a joint application for divorce.