Divorce in Monaco

Most of us go into a marriage without even imagining the possibility that something may go wrong. In many cases the heat is not burning anymore and we are often weak to face with the fact that the love is gone. Therefore when a divorce is coming it can be extremely painful. Many people also do not take the responsibility because they are scared of the fight that may occur during the process. What others think is none of your business, do not even go there to listen out opinions.

“Divorce can be very tricky in the Principality. Sometimes you need to check whether the local laws apply or you have to use the law of your country of origin.”

The process of divorce in the Principality is often difficult because of the country of origin of the foreign residents. For example if a Swiss man marries a German woman and they both reside in the Principality of Monaco, they need to take into consideration three different legislations (Swiss, German, Monégasque).

In many cases the decision depends on the judge who decides on his/her ruling based on one of the nationalities. Of course parties also have the possibility to request the ruling based on their country of origin.

In many cases and especially when there is no settlement between the parties the applied law can be crucial. Even if you are able to divorce under the legislation of the Principality of Monaco in the very first days that you have received your residence permit, Monaco does not offer the European comfort of separation.

In Monaco the base of compensation for the spouse is never based on the actual wealth. Based on the law what you brought into the marriage stays yours after the divorce. Therefore if you had a house before the marriage you can keep the house and your spouse has no right on it. The separation is based only on the commonly built wealth.

In case your spouse had no income during the marriage, the court is entitled to create a basic calculation of her monthly living cost, which is an indicator of maintaining the same level of lifestyle that the spouse had during the marriage.

Based on the ruling you could be directed to ensure this living cost to your spouse for a maximum period of five years.

This is an exceptional benefit for the ultra rich residents, since by applying the Monégasque law they can save multi millions on a divorce. Putting this to an example, if you are a wealthy guy having 100 Million Euro and you live with your wife from a monthly living cost of 5 000 Euro, then based on the standard law practice in Monaco the maximum you pay to your ex-wife is 300 000 Euro, which is the monthly living cost for five years. This means you will still keep the 99.7% of your wealth.

“The question of competency is among the very first things you have to identify in a divorce case.”

In a case like this in many European countries the wife would be entitled at least half of the assets and the wealth. Especially if there are children involved.

In the Principality of Monaco the person who built up the wealth enjoys the protection. It could be also considered as a protection of true love and relationship against the gold diggers who go into a marriage because of the wealth and lifestyle. Obviously this is the major reason why competency plays an important rule in the divorce process.

Once the divorce is done the Certificate of Transcription of Divorce applies to all divorce judgments by the Court of First Instance in Monaco. The Registry Office of the Mairie de Monaco (Town Hall) will issue the certificate immediately on presentation of your proof of identity.