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Family counselling

A family law lawyer is all too often a crisis and litigation professional, yet we are also counsellors, capable of shedding light on families’ choices throughout their lives, much like a family doctor does on health matters.

Nowadays, having an annual check-up and asking for advice on how to keep healthy have become well-established habits: “prevention is better than cure”… It is with that same preventative role in mind that we accompany families, regardless of their situation, at every stage of life: getting married or not, having a child, buying an apartment, following one’s spouse abroad, etc. These choices shape a family’ s future and, with it, its difficulties and potential crises.

Unfortunately, however, these choices are not always made with full knowledge of the facts and subsequently give rise to challenges. When they do occur, it is often too late, whereas with minimal counselling, they could have been avoided or mitigated.

Our advice is the key to understanding how to make an informed decision and, above all, how to measure the consequences of one’s decisions.

Our knowledge of litigation and its realities allows us to provide a privileged insight and sound advice, which in turn leads to a more serene approach to each stage of one’s life.

I am currently in a relationship: which type of union should I choose?

Life as a couple is a commitment. While there are several types of unions and a number of possibilities within each of them, it is important to ask oneself the right questions: What type of union is best suited to my/our situation and my/our plans? In the event of marriage, which matrimonial regime should I choose in my/our particular context? And how can I live my daily life according to the regime I have chosen?

Because there are as many answers as there are couples, bwg provides you with tailor-made assistance in order to help you choose your path, through a “pre-commitment meeting”.


What about an international marriage contract?

Although perfectly mastered in France, classic marriage contracts do not always translate well internationally.

The role of a notary as the sole and neutral interlocutor is sometimes misunderstood and does not always constitute a sufficient guarantee for foreign judges.

The elected matrimonial regime may not be observed by a foreign judge who sometimes only applies the law of his or her own country.

On the other hand, if one spouse is of foreign nationality or resides abroad, this may offer opportunities that French law does not recognise in order to anticipate any financial consequences of a separation, and these opportunities should not be ignored.

In collaboration with foreign notaries and lawyers, BWG draws up tailor-made contracts to maximise their chances of being recognised and enforced wherever the couple may need them.


I am a business owner: what steps can I take to protect both my business and my spouse?

When a business owner or aspiring business owner gets married, or when one of the spouses becomes a business owner, they often believe that a choice must be made between protecting their business or their spouse.

Tailor-made solutions exist to protect their spouse without threatening their business.

BWG can provide you with personalised assistance in this regard.


I am buying property: which questions should I ask myself?

When acquiring property, it is important to consider the acquisition circumstances of the couple or family (joint ownership, property management companies, etc.), and the rights of each party with regard to this acquisition (percentage of ownership, capital contributions, re-investment, etc.).

The answers to these questions depend on each person’s marital or family situation, their plans and aspirations. bwg assists you in assessing the legal and practical implications of each of these hypotheses, in light of your particular situation.


I am soon to become a parent: what are my rights and obligations?

Many questions arise when a child is born: do I have to acknowledge paternity of my child? When and how should I do it? Which surname should I give my child? Will this choice be final? What is joint parental authority? May I decide on my child’s religion alone? What am I financially responsible for? …

bwg is here to answer all the questions you may have and to guide your choices.


My family is multi-cultural or mixed, how can we manage our children’s dual culture in the best possible way?

Should the child have only one nationality or the nationality of both parents? What religion will he or she practice? Public schooling like his father or private/religious schooling like his mother? Learning several languages or not? etc…

These are all examples that deserve to be thought through beforehand in order to avoid having to manage a conflict which can sometimes escalate dramatically and affect the whole family, starting with the children.

BWG supports you in this reflection, helping you to identify solutions and find compromises, in particular through family mediation, while taking into account the cultural and religious diversity of your family.


I have chosen to follow my spouse abroad: what are the consequences?

When moving abroad, people generally think about information on housing, schools, taxes. However, we too often forget to consider the consequences in the event of separation or death. And yet …

A simple move can circumvent the provisions of a marriage contract. An audit of the matrimonial regime and possible modifications should be rigorously considered.

A move often entails involving the jurisdiction of a foreign judge in the event of divorce, or even the application of a foreign law which may have very different consequences from those of French law, either financially or in terms of the respective rights of the parents with regard to their children.

In matters of inheritance, failure to anticipate may lead to the enforcement of a foreign law which will not always correspond to what the deceased would have wished.

bwg advises expatriates as they move abroad to help them make informed choices or to remedy undesired effects of a foreign law.


I have separated from my partner: how can we still remain a parental couple despite everything?

On a daily basis, bringing up a child is not always an easy task for parents and family.

But when the family is no longer, when the parental couple separates, it becomes even less so. Distance prevents spontaneous communication, differences of opinion deepen, children grow up and problems arise: enrolment in a school or educational establishment – public or private -, one of the parents has decided to move, religious practice, trips abroad, medical problems, choosing which extra-curricular activities to take part in, access to means of communication and technology (telephone, internet).

In view of such considerations, there is a solution: anticipating, through the establishment of a parental charter, which lists educational principles and clear and simple rules to help resolve difficulties in an objective manner.

In its advisory role and its constant desire to preserve children, bwg helps you to draw up a tailor-made parental charter, specific to each individual story.


I’m going to live abroad or coming back to live in France with our child: how can I organise this move properly?

This question concerns a very large number of “international families”.

If both parents agree on the principle of (legal removal of children), it is absolutely necessary to obtain information beforehand in order to organise and implement this agreement according to the proper rules.

bwg can assist you in the implementation of this relocation by advising you on all the aspects to be taken into consideration in the drafting of this agreement in order to guarantee its respect, recognition and enforcement in the countries concerned, in particular thanks to its network of foreign lawyers.


I’m rebuilding my life… how can I do so?

In a newly formed family unit, the balance between protecting the spouse, preserving one’s own estate and protecting the interests of children of a previous union is not always easy to articulate. Marriage, civil union, cohabitation, many options exist, but the consequences and respective benefits are often unclear.

bwg helps you analyse and choose the option that corresponds to your particular needs in order to ensure a serene future.


I’m getting older: how should I plan for my elderly years?

There are 2 ways of dealing with the passage of time (ageing):

  1. Waiting, and eventually making decisions when the time comes or perhaps more certainly enduring those decisions (a protective measure, an arrangement determined by a third party: a judge on a personal level / societal bodies on a professional level),
  2. Taking care of it, being aware of it, and, “before it’s too late”, deciding on an alternative structure, when it should apply, because you are the decision-maker.

bwg provides this auditing, analysis, awareness raising and contractual protection support work.


Although its date is unknown, its occurrence is certain: death.

What if we were to help you plan for it?

What is clear is that anticipation is almost exclusively fiscal in order to optimise current or future taxation (especially for descendants during inheritance operations).

Anticipation is hardly ever “legal”, however it should be!

Each situation is specific: marriage, remarriage? Blended family: children, stepchildren? Minor children: who will they live with? who will protect them? who will manage their assets? etc… These questions deserve personal and tailor-made answers.

bwg provides this support, which allows us to anticipate the settlement of an estate in order to ensure that the last wishes and rights of each individual are respected.

Dedicated partners