If you find this site useful, please donate to support our work

Get our latest news by email:


Looking for something?


Entries in Switzerland (2)


Law grants custody rights to Swiss fathers

Divorced fathers in Switzerland are now entitled to joint legal custody of their children. Previously, mothers were usually awarded sole custody.
The law, which took effect at the start of July 2014, also allows fathers to apply for custody retroactively if the divorce or separation had taken place within the past five years.
The change in the law means that both parents will have an equal say when it comes to making decisions about the children. However, it does not mean that both parents will share physical custody of their children. The Swiss Parliament had approved a government proposal in June last year, but implementation of the reform was delayed by several months amid concerns by the cantons over an expected flood of requests.
While these new laws represent considerable progress, married and unmarried parents are still teated diffferently and the interests of grandparents, foster parents and other stakeholders are still ignored.
In her speech at the ICSP conference, Swiss family lawyer Anne Reiser suggested that post separation negotiations should be not be conducted like a chess game, in which the outcome is a death or loss for one side.  The strategy game Go provides a more useful approach, in which players compete to get the biggest territory but also make sure that the other party can also live.

Joint custody soon to become law - in Switzerland

Automatic joint custody (residence) is on the fast track to becoming law in Switzerland.

MPs have massively supported a bill that would impose it in case of separation. Some wanted it linked to a reform of alimony, but most MPs felt this was too complex a question and would just cause delays.

Justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga speaking in Parliament, said: “Parental responsibility is the duty of both parents. It’s a duty as much as a right. Parents are still parents if they separate, divorce or are not married. Therefore custody should be granted to the mother and father.”

The bill now goes to the Council of States. Senators are also expected to approve it.

(world Radio Service, September 26th)