Certificat de coutume pour les mariages et les PACS en France de citoyens américains uniquement (En)

Marriages and PACS between an American and a person legally domiciled in France are authorized and a French certificat de coutume et de célibat may be required.

Certificat de coutume et de célibat

It is quite possible that the local French city hall will include require that the American provide a “Certificat de coutume et de célibat”.

A « Certificat de coutume et de célibat » is what Americans call a “legal opinion”. For the purpose of using such a document before a French administrative body in connection with a to-be-celebrated French-American marriage, it should be prepared by an attorney admitted to the practice of the law in France and in the United States. Naturally, the opinion must be in French.
Often, in order to meet the requirements of the mairie, a U.S. citizens may simply and at no cost can sign at the mairie an Attestation tenant lieu de certificat de coutume et de célibat attesting that the American is free to enter a French PACS or marriage.

See https://fr.usembassy.gov/fr/mariage-en-france-attestation-tenant-lieu-de-certificat-de-coutume-et-de-celibat/

If that simple no cost solution does not work for you, in less than a week, we can generally review the American’s documents and prepare a certificat de coutume et de célibat in the form of French a legal opinion which 99.9% the French mairies will accept. Preparation of such of French legal opinion and signed by an attorney admitted to the in the United States normally involves two + hours of professional time.

Documents required

The attorney can deliver to his client a “Certificat de coutume et de célibat” only if the client holds U.S. nationality. The American would normally need to send to the attorney pdf copies of the following:
* Current address and telephone number of the American fiancé(e)
* A good (enlarged) copy of the signature and identity photo pages of the passport of the American financé(e)
* A copy of each divorce decree and/or PACS or civil union (if any) of the American fiancé(e)
* If applicable, an enlarged, good copy of the American’s U.S. driver’s license, electricity bill, or other document to show that the American is domiciled outside the European Union and intends to pay the attorney’s professional fee in the form of a wire
* The address to which the original copy of the certificat de coutume et de célibat should be mailed.

Normally, a « Certificat de coutume et de célibat » for an American can be issued within 72 hours after the documents are provided and the American fiancé(e) signs a short attestation prepared by the attorney. A sample attestation with a translation into English is located below.

French Certificat de coutume et de célibat – sample attestation

Annexe au Certificat de Coutume de Maître Weissberg Annex to the Certificat de Coutume of Attorney Weissberg
La soussignée, Judy SMITH, née dans l’État du New York, États-Unis d’Amérique le 22 mai 1964, déclare sur l’honneur que : The undersigned, Judy SMITH, born in the State of New York, United States of American, on 22 May 1964 hereby declares as follows:
  • Je suis célibataire, majeure et capable de me marier ;
  • Je n’ai jamais été marié et je n’ai jamais conclu un PACS (pacte civil de solidarité) ;
  • Je suis de nationalité américaine (numéro de passeport américain 12345678).
  • I am single, of age, and have the legal capacity to be married;’
  • I have never been married and I have never entered into a PACS (a civil union); and
  • I am a citizen of the United States of American and my U.S. passport number is 12345678.
Je délivre la présente attestation à Maître Weissberg, Avocat aux Barreaux de NEW-YORK et de PARIS. I am delivering this attestation to Attorney Weissberg, a member of the New York and Paris Bars.
La soussignée est parfaitement consciente que l’article 441-7 du code pénal réprime l’établissement d’attestation faisant état des faits matériellement inexacts./td> The undersigned understands that Article 441-7 of the French Penal Code provides for punishment if an attestation states facts that are materially incorrect.
Fait à New York City, le 11 mai 2015.  Executed in New York City on 11 May 2015
Judy Smith Judy Smith