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France

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France

1. International Family Mediation

Family mediation, in France, is legally recognised, commonly implemented and encouraged by the State; it is recommended as an option in the French Civil Code. The French family mediator is a professional who must justify the State Diploma (the State Diploma of the family mediator).

The Association for Family Mediation (APMF) provides the list of the family mediators working in France and the list of the family mediation services which are its members. You can find a mediator or a service in your region here (website is in French).

The Fenamef is a non-profit association that combines more than 500 intervention locations across France: family mediation services, family and meeting places, training centres, workshops of co-parenting, intergenerational mediation location, family mediation in situations of ageing, school mediation, etc. Choose your area in the Family Mediation Services Directory to find organisations that provide family mediation near you (website is in French).

International family mediation is encouraged by the administrative and legal authorities to resolve international family conflicts. The Unit of International Family Mediation (CMFI) of the Bureau of the Union Law, International Private Law and Mutual Aid in Civil Matters provides mediation to parents committed to finding negotiated outcomes to conflict (website is in French).

1) France is a Party to the 1980 Hague Convention.

The 1980 Hague Convention: a multilateral treaty which provides procedural guidelines on the return of children and their protection in cases of international parental child abduction.

Contact the Central Authority established in France for cases of child abduction (operational languages: French and English).

2) France is a Party to the 1996 Hague Convention.

The 1996 Hague Convention: a multilateral treaty which determines jurisdiction, applicable law, co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and access rights, as well as civil and public measures for the protection or care of children. 

Contact the Central Authority established in France for cases of dispute concerning cross-border parental responsibilities and rights of contact with children (operational languages: French and English).

3) France is a Party to the Brussels IIA Regulation.

Brussels IIA Regulation: a legal instrument of the European Union to help resolve family disputes involving more than one country, over divorce, all parental responsibilities and, in particular, the custody of children. Brussels IIA is a regulation applicable to all European Union Member states (except Denmark). The Regulation prevails over the 1996 Hague Convention in cases where the child’s habitual residence is within a European Union Member state (except Denmark). Please be aware that if a decision on access and/or custody rights is taken by a court from the European Union, the regulation foresees that a State Party to the 1996 Hague Convention must recognise the court decision.

Contact the Central Authority established in France designated under the 1996 Hague Convention for cases of dispute concerning cross-border parental responsibilities and rights of contact with children (operational languages: French and English).

4) France is a Party to a number of bilateral agreements.

The List of bilateral agreements concerning all parental responsibilities includes deals made between France and the following countries: Algeria, Benin, Brazil, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Niger, Portugal, Senegal, Chad, Togo and Tunisia (website is in French).

You can determine whether all countries relevant to your case are Parties, or not, to the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, the 1996 Hague Convention on Child Protection and/or Brussels IIA (except Denmark) in order to locate the appropriate central authority. As for the 1980 Hague Convention, you can check whether the Convention is in force between two specific States in the Spreadsheet showing acceptances of accessions to the Child Abduction Convention.

AIFI is a transcontinental francophone association offering help to separating parents (website is in French). Select France to find specialised professionals (choose only one profession per search).

The Secours Catholique-Caritas France is a non-profit organisation that supports parents including single parents (website is in French). The association provides food aid, financial support, administrative actions, access to law, etc. You can contact the organisation here.

The National Women Solidarity Federation (FNSF) is a network of feminist associations that denounces violence against women, particularly domestic violence. For situations of violence, please contact directly the FNSF here or find an association involved in your area here (website is in French).

International Women Legal Information Rhône-Alpes (FIJI-RA) is an association that defends the rights of women in international family law (website is in French). Expert lawyers in private international law address issues related to marriage, divorce, parenting, child abduction, adoption, etc. They offer a hotline and individual counselling to people.

Paseo Association, a member of Home-Start Worldwide, is a non-profit organisation providing home-visiting and practical assistance to young families experiencing difficulties. Its volunteers offer free-of-charge and confidential support to parents. You can contact their office in Nimes here (website in French).

4. Child Welfare Services

The Defender of Rights is an independent State institution which promotes and defends children’s rights. You can contact the 397 delegates of the Defender of Rights if you feel that the rights of a child are not respected or that a situation involves the interests of the child (website is in French).

The European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) is a non-profit association of independent children’s rights institutions (click on France in the list of country-members).

The website of “Missing Children Europe” provides helpful information and the List of all organisations around Europe working in the realm of child disappearances.

5. Support to Bi-national Couples, Cross-cultural and Migrant Families

The Secours Catholique-Caritas France is a non-profit organisation that has a support centre for asylum seekers and refugees (CEDRE). The specially created structure initiates and submits files of asylum migrants and is located in Paris (website is in French). You can contact the organisation here.

The Gisti (Group of Information and Support of Immigrants) advocates for equal access to the rights and the citizenship, regardless of nationality, and for the freedom of movement. Gisti’s activity is centred on several points: legal advice, training, publications, legal actions, etc. Please find the Collectifs de sans-papiers and Permanences of Supports in your area or contact the Gisti directly here (website is in French).

If you live in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) and you need free of charge legal advice on immigration law, please contact a permanent service for reception of the resource center Espace de Soutien aux Professionnels de l’Accueil et du Conseil aux Etrangers (ESPACE) in your region (website is in French).

Some of the hyperlinks you will find in the texts of this section lead you to websites available only in the native language of the country chosen. Copy the URL-address and paste it in Google Translate, choose your language and click on “translate” to find the whole website available.