What you can do

The general advice is registering your marriage before coming to Monaco. It is sad that the signed document is more important than the reality of everyday family life for years, but that is the case.

Some advice is presented on this website but please educate yourself on the legal situation in your country of origin or the country where the relationship has commenced.

Monaco court proceedings are quite expensive. In many cases a woman may find herself without financial means to be represented by a lawyer, if during the years of common life she dedicated herself to the upbringing of kids and relied entirely on her former partner. The former partner may block her bank cards in several minutes, if they were attached to the partner’s account, and this will make a legal fight very difficult.

Your former family partner may have much wider finances to hire lawyers. They might even succeed in discrediting you as a mother in an effort to win primary residence of the kids.

Here is the link to a testimony of a mother who went through divorce in Monaco that can assist you in preparation for the proceedings.

The advancement of women interests faces obstacles:

  1. They do not have enough money to fight, to defend themselves, and are forced to accept whatever is given to them. In many cases they simply cannot afford receiving professional legal advice.
  1. Those who find agreement with the former partner, finally sign a confidentiality clause, which denies their separation experience to others in the same situation, and abstains from improving the legislative framework. This is a pity.
  1. Even if you are able to defend yourself and fight for the kids, you may never be able to afford the same standard of living for them, which creates great discrepancy between partners and psychological damage to the kids.

The fact that Monaco does not recognise contemporary forms of family like civil partnership, free union or cohabitation gives ground to affirm that Monaco breaches the right to family life under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. However to this date no one tried to sue Monaco before the European Court of Human Rights for this anomaly.

Your right to be recognised as a family member is also protected by the United Nations law, but currently Monaco does not allow suing its Government before the UN bodies. Thus, the European Court of Human Rights remains the only option.

Take note that you may take a lawyer established in one of the 47 Council of Europe countries to appeal to the European Court. There is no obligation to be assisted by a Monegasque lawyer in this case.

You can contact for initial consultation on this matter:

Prof. Dr. Stanislovas Tomas