English speaking family lawyer

Hi I’m writing on behalf of a friend who lives in Bordeaux. He and his wife has separated. They have a young child. She wants full custody. She has turned child against him. Can anyone advise an English speaking family lawyer?

Carla, if you Google : Bordeaux, Avocat qui parle anglais - it brings up loads of stuff.

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Thank you Stella

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Hi Carla,

We have, within the Bordeaux Bar association, set a team of advocates who are dedicated to expats. This team is called ICARE (reads Institut de Conseil et d’Assistance aux Résidents Étrangers)… or I CARE!

We work on ten different languages, from English to German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Deutch, Romanian, Russian, etc… (I’ll pass on the link to that list shortly (I am on IPad now and can’t attach the link properly !?)

We have different specialities and some of them are family lawyers, like me.

I am heading the English branch and 100% of my clients are English speaking expats. I may help your friend with her query.

Philippe Péjoine (reads “page 1”)
16 bis cours du Maréchal Juin
33000 Bordeaux
T: 0674284766
Courriel: philippe-pejoine@wanadoo.fr

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thank you Philippe, I will forward this to my friend.

kind regards

Hi, my friend is having difficulty getting legal aid with a lawyer because his ex-wife won’t provide him with a tax return. Aparently they are not legally separated, he thought they were. He has to attend Court soon regarding access to his child but is unable to do so without a lawyer. Can anyone advise if there is a way around this? He can’t get access to social help without this tax return. He currently has no income and is depending on friends giving him money for food.

The tax returns should be available from the local tax office of where the couple habitually resided. Your friend could try ringing the tax office in question to enquire under which conditions they would either send him a copy, or else provide for him to come and pick it up on appointment. Alternatively, most people today would have an account with impots.gouv.fr and login to that with their tax number and password to download their latest tax returns.


Thank you Alex, that’s helpful. I will pass that on to my friend


My friend has had no income since September. He lost his position as a fulltime musician. He has been told by his lawyer he is not entitled to legal aid because of what he earned as a musician. He has been living off loans from friends. He has now 10k in debt and needs to return to UK. Will he be allowed back in country to see his son with these debts?

Also can you be turned down for legal aid if you have zero income? He is in a mess and cant see a way out of it

Legal aid is based on your declared income, presumably over the previous six months or whatever. I don’t mean to kick someone when they are down but surely your friend is capable of knowing what his personal marital situation is, getting his own tax return and getting himself organised? How can he be destitute now after earning too much to qualify for free legal representation?
If you are the girlfriend, run for the hills now before you find yourself looking after this immature person.


Is this the friend who you mentioned before who has problems with alcohol? If so, then point them towards one of the associations that help alcoholics as they will have experience in dealing with chaotic people who cannot manage their way through normal life . Other support organisations often won’t help alcoholics.

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Do you know the name of any such organisation that helps Alcoholics?

@Kaz1972 I think you want to ask @JaneJones rather than me.
Apart from les alcooliques anonymes and alcool-info service I didn’t find anything online when I looked just now.

He could ask at the mairie/communauté des communes . I’m sure I’ve seen notices on our spanking new light-up public info sign about alcohol and drug support.

My mind was dwelling on this last night, it took me back 30 years to when my family was going through dark times on account of my brother who was/is also a musician and also an alcoholic.
I was fortunate to have support from a recovering alcoholic who ran the local AA meetings. He had been to rock bottom himself and had no illusions, and he gave practical realistic advice. Perhaps the most useful thing he hammered into me was that alcoholics lie. It’s hard to fully accept that fact about a person you are related to or close to, but if you can fully accept it, it saves your sanity. Alcoholics are oblivious to reality and until you accept that and draw a line, you enter into their world, believing their promises and believing the yarns they spin you and sharing the grudges they bear over things that never happened and pursuing crusades that are no more than wild goose chases, The trick is to neither believe nor disbelieve what they say, just regard it as one possibility amongst several, and wait until you can confirm it one way or the other.
For instance I would be taking with a pinch of salt all the stuff about being unable to do anything because can’t get a copy of tax return. Looked at objectively, that seems implausible. If he wanted to get a copy it shouldn’t be difficult. Other possibilities are that he doesn’t want to get a copy, or that he has a copy but doesn’t want to show it to anyone because it doesn’t support the story that he wants to tell. So trying to help him obtain one, may be a complete waste of your time.
The priority has to be to address the alcohol issue because while that continues, nothing will get solved.
Example: my bruv’s mortgage lender was sending threatening letters because of arrears. My mum spent her life savings paying the mortgage off for him. Problem solved, catastrophe averted. No it wasn’t because the next thing he did was take out a new mortgage. We only found this out a few years down the line when the threatening letters started coming again. My mum cried for weeks, it was nearly the end of her.


Look locally. I only know the one here. As Anna/Vero says the Marie or Assistante Sociale are places to start.

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thank you very much Anna for your insightful and helpful response. Everything that you describe is what I am experiencing now. I have learned not to believe a word he says and also unless alcohol issue gets addressed there will be more and more problems. I appreciate you taking the time to write such a personal/insightful post.

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Also Carla, just to bear in mind, we cannot MAKE others change their ways. They have to be in a place where they want to do it for themselves. And that place may have to be very deep and very dark. In the meantime, if this is someone you are walking alongside, I sincerely hope you are able to have your OWN support in place, be it good friends or a more formal organisation. It’s an old metaphor, but still is true. When a plane is going down, put on your own oxygen mask first. Only then are you able to help others.