Who Is Legally Entitled to Object to a Marriage in France?

Marriage is a solemn covenant that allows two individuals to form a couple for eternity. Depending on the culture, this type of alliance can be religious, customary, or even administrative. However, in any of these cases, you should be aware that there are possibilities of interrupting a marriage. In these circumstances, who are the people who are legally entitled to oppose the union of the lovers? Answers in the following lines.

The Spouses

Strange as it may seem, the first people who are entitled to interrupt the marriage are the spouses themselves. Indeed, this type of opposition is often affiliated with one of the spouses who is not in good standing with the law. For example, if one of the spouses has not divorced his or her former spouse, he or she can only obstruct his or her own marriage. This regulation remains effective according to article 172 of the Civil Code. Thus, the non-divorced person is free to oppose his or her new marriage, as he or she may be in a system of bigamy.

Since bigamy is not a permitted phenomenon, the subject would have to divorce his former spouse before considering a new union. Apart from this constraint and the consent factor, the spouses have no reason to oppose their marriage.


Obviously, ascendants are the people who can legally compel spouses to break off their union. To understand this allegation, you must turn to article 173 of the Civil Code. In these texts, you will see amply that only the father and mother can oppose the marriage of their children. However, the term ascendant does not only refer to the biological parents.

Instead of your parents, your grandparents and ancestors are entitled to break up your marriage. Therefore, you should know that ascendants can break up your wedding for any reason. If the cause is valid and objective, they have the right to oppose your union.


Apart from the ascendants, there are also the collaterals who have full right to oppose your marriage. In fact, if you have no biological parents, the law has provided a standard for you. According to article 174 of the Civil Code, collaterals (brother, sister, uncle, aunt, etc.) are also allowed to interrupt your marriage for objective reasons. However, they can only do so if you really have no ascendants. Similarly, they can only oppose marriage if the legislator has not established hierarchical order.

The collaterals can break up your marriage when these conditions are met. But, apart from collaterals, some tutors are concerned. In fact, in the absence of ascendants and collaterals, you should know that the guardians have the last word. This is in accordance with the guidelines of article 175 of the Civil Code. As with collaterals, the guardians may exercise their right if and only if the spouses no longer have ascendants.

The Public Prosecutor

Apart from ascendants and other close relatives, you should know that the Public Prosecutor’s Office also has a say in your marriage. Their intervention is only legal if your marriage is considered a sham marriage. Thus, if the Public Prosecutor notices that your marriage is based on selfish benefits and does not respect any norms, he or she can legally express their disagreement. This right is then granted to the Public Prosecutor’s Office following article 175-1 of the Civil Code.

For example, as a sham marriage, you have the unions contracted intending to obtain a residence permit in a given country. In these circumstances, be aware that the Ministry can quickly stop your union. On the other hand, even after this decision of the Ministry, you have the possibility of restoring the situation by following certain specific steps.

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