Divorce and carte vitale


I am wondering if anyone can help. I have been married to a Frenchman for 12 years but divorced in February 2015. I have dual nationality - British and French. I have my own carte vitale but am told by the assurance maladie place that it is still held under the name of my ex husband and that I cannot change this until one year after the date of the divorce. I am worried that I will lost the right to have a card vitale as I have a serious medical condition which is at the moment covered 100 per cent, plus, like everyone I need a doctor and treatment from time to time.

Does anyone know the law and procedure regarding divorce and health rights. I have carte vitale at the moment with a securitie sociale number.

Thank you in advance for any help given

ps apologies for my lack of photo but my computer still wont let me load one up.

I do have French citizenship so I don't have those related problems and I do have a carte vitale with my own individual number I suppose for life. So I agree that I will not be denied coverage. But the problem is, if they are going to make me pay cotisations based on income I don't have any more I will not be able to afford it. I wonder if my age will be an extenuating circumstance since I am of retirement age now although unfortunately I never worked in France, only the US, so I would not benefit from the wonderful retirement status the French get if they retired from the French system.

Peter, because it wouldn't be possible to be an 'ayant droit' of a person who no longer had any 'droits'.

If you have lived here for 18 years you won't be left without coverage but make sure you don't stay in the US for so long that you break your residency (to be safe, don't spend more than 3 months outside of France).

Will there also be visa issues, do you have an EU passport? Hopefully you weren't here on a spouse visa as that could make things difficult too.

Good luck with it all anyway.

Thank you very much for your help. We are planning to divorce in the US as it is easier. I expect to have a judgment from the US that shows that we do not owe each other money. I am thinking then that the French CPAM will need that officially translated? I don't suppose they can do anything until after my judgment but I will ask them what can be done, what is likely to happen and how to plan. It is a bit scary to be suddenly without coverage when I return and have to straighten this out.

Presumably if he is earning and you're not, there will in due course be an alimony settlement and they will need to know the details as that'll count as part of your income. But I just noticed that you say 'going to divorce', in fact under French law your husband is responsible for you until you either have a legal separation order or a divorce, so if you think it's going to be difficult to make him meet his responsibilities I think you should get a "séparation de corps" as soon as possible, to regularise things and ensure that you stop being treated as a household for income, taxation etc. That is important because otherwise, yes you could have a problem.

As you say it's not straightforward but one usually finds that French legislation has made provision for virtually every possible set of circumstances, so the answer should be the same whoever you ask. You may get informed advice quicker from the AS if that's what you want, but at the end of the day only CPAM can make the final decision because they hold the purse strings. And you can go to the AS for advice in advance, whereas I doubt whether CPAM will be able to do much before your civil status has officially changed to separated.

Thank you. Yes, fortunately French is not a problem for me. I will try to go Tuesday morning and see what they say. You say my situation is not uncommon. I hope you are right. I hope it is not something they don't know how to deal with. The part that is uncommon is that my husband will be stopping his work in France and changing countries. So even though normally I would have a year as his ayant droit, I don't because he will not continue with his French health care. So now I am on my own but the recent tax returns from his salary will look like I have the money to pay a large contribution but I will not have that money. So I don't know if they know how to deal with that or not. I think they are used to saying "you have a year as ayant droit" but I cannot in my situation.

I don't know, is it important to you or not? You said you were stressed, you seem anxious to get answers to your questions, you seem to be worried about going to CPAM or why are you sitting there trying to find answers, spending a long time getting nowhere, and worrying, instead of getting on with it. The assistante sociale would be able to tell you the answers. Although I'm sure CPAM will have appropriate procedures in place, yours is not an uncommon situation. But whatever the procedure is, you need to either go to CPAM yourself which would be quicker, or if you can't face that, make an appointment with the AS but they are usually overworked and you're unlikely to get an appointment at the drop of a hat. But sitting worrying, when there's probably nothing to worry about won't help.

Why not go to CPAM, and if after that you're still worried and feel you need advice or support, ask to see the AS.

Why should/would you lose your 'ayant droits' because of the divorce ?

thank you but is it important to see an assistante sociale? Would that really help or should I go directly to the CPAM office?. I agree that I should still get health care because I already have a carte vitale with my own number on it but the big problem is, if they are going to look at the declaration we filed, based on my husband's employment, but I will not be getting that money when we divorce, I would not be able to afford cotisations based on an income that I don't have.

Look on your commune website (if they have one) and it will usually tell you the dates of 'es Permanaces' like Asst Sociale etc

Susan, you need to ask at your mairie. The assistante sociale may hold surgeries in your town or village at certain times/days during the month, or you may need to make an appointment and go to wherever they are based.

If you've lived in France for over 5 years which obviously you have, then you have a right to healthcare. Whether or not you have to pay cotisations will depend on your income as per your annual declaration.

How do I find an assistante sociale please? I have been spending a long time on this but I can't find any information on this. I have been under my husband's social security Carte Vitale for 18 years (ayant droit) so I have always used that number. On my card it has my own individual number which I have never activated. We are going to divorce and all I keep on reading is that I have the right to keep this ayant droit for one year. But my husband will be leaving France to work in another country so I don't think I can remain as his ayant droit if he no longer has this status. I just can't find any information and I am so stressed over this. If I go to the CPAM office do you think they will be able to convert this to my own number and then do I suddenly have to pay a ton of money into the system? If I have to show income, my husband had a good income but I will not be benefitting from that anymore and my own income is not that much. So do you think I have to pay like 8 percent of money I don't have this to convent to my own? thanks in advance Is it important to see an assistant sociale to kind of plead my case or do you think its good enough to go directly to the CPAM office? ( I do speak good French)

Actually you CAN change it if you really want to but you are still insured as an ayant droit for a year from the date of the divorce, ie CMU or some other régime kicks in AFTER A WHOLE YEAR, the same applies after the death of the assuré principal.

see here for divorce:


and here for being widowed:


On a related note, perhaps someone can help. I am an AE & qualify for carte vitale through RSI, with my husband as my dependent. It might be morbid, but what happens to his insurance if I die? Will he still retain his insurance? Do we have to have our cartes vitales for a certain number of years for him to be granted coverage of his own? Thanks in advance.

Thank you. I am making an appointment today.

Thank you so much. That has given me hope. It is sure hell going through a divorce and it doesn't help being in a foreign country. So I imagine you have had a very rough time. I sincerely hope things get better for you. Will keep in touch.


utter rubbish - I was ayant droit uder my ex husband's card. As soon as I had been released from hospital (5 weeks after the split) and assistante sociale made me a rdv with cpam and an hour later I walked out with a paper attestation giving me rights in my own name and cmu. I had only lived in France just over 5 years and did not have dual nationality.

At the time I didn't have an ALD (long term illness covered at 100%) but I di now, only have to redo a claim if you change caisse (eg I have just become an AE so my caisse has changed from CPAM to RSI) It isn't difficult to redo - just a quick visit to the dr (your medcin traitant) and he will fill in the forms for you .

If you need any other advice or support shout - sadly been there twice in 10 years - first time in France full on divorce from British husband, second time a split after 4 years vie en commun with a Frenchman

Go and talk to your local assistante sociale, she (or possibly he) should have all the information you need. At the very least you should have CMU but as I say, get expert advice. Bon courage!

thank you but what is an assistante sociale and how can I find one?