Which law is applicable?

According to Art. 61 of the Switzerland’s Federal Code on Private International Law (CPIL), divorce and separation shall be governed by Swiss law. If, however, both spouses have the same foreign citizenship and only one is domiciled in Switzerland, the law of the State of their common citizenship shall be applicable (Art. 61 II CPIL).

The application of Swiss law to the divorce does not necessarily mean that the ancillary effects of the divorce, such as the dissolution of the matrimonial property regime, the effects of paternity or the protection of minor will be governed by Swiss law.

Unless the spouses operated a choice of law in writing or in a marriage contract, the matrimonial property regime is governed by the law of the State in which both spouses are domiciled simultaneously (Art. 54 I a CPIL). If the spouses are not domiciled in the same State, the law of the State in which they were last domiciled simultaneously applies (Art. 54 I b CPIL). If the spouses transfer their domicile from one State to another, the law of the new domicile shall be applicable with retroactive effect from the date of the marriage (Art. 55 I CPIL).

The relationship between parent and child is governed by the principle of the habitual residence of the child (Art. 82 I CPIL).

Finally, according to Art. 83 I CPIL, the maintenance obligations between parent and child shall be governed by The Hague Convention of October 2, 1973 on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations.

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This website aims to provide general information regarding Swiss law and should not be regarded as a legal opinion. For more specific advice, do not hesitate to contact us.