Divorce abroad

Foreign decisions on divorce or legal separation are normally recognised in Switzerland when handed down in the country of domicile or of habitual residence, or the state of nationality of one of the spouses, or if recognised in one of these countries (Federal Act on Private International Law (SR 291)).

Federal Act on Private International Law (SR 291) (de, fr, it)

To register a divorce, pronounced in Angola, in the Swiss civil status register (Infostar) the following documents must be submitted to the Regional Consular Centre Pretoria.

  • divorce decree (Certidão de divórcio) bearing a note that the decree is final and absolute
  • An official translation into a Swiss national language (only necessary if the divorce decree is handwritten. A decree in the form of a computer printout does not need to be translated)

The divorce decree must be accompanied by a declaration (Declaração) from the Ministry of Justice (Ministério da Justiça, Direcção Nacional dos Registos e do Notariado, Serviços Técnicos) and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministério das Relações Exteriores, Departamento Consular).

Divorce in Switzerland

In the case of a divorce pronounced in Switzerland, persons registered with a Swiss representation abroad are under an obligation to report the change of civil status. This requires submitting the following documents (as hard copy or in electronic form) so that the register of the Swiss abroad can be updated:

  • photocopy of the divorce decree with the date on which it takes effect
  • photocopy of the decision concerning the parental authority of any children of the couple with the date when it takes effect
  • Where applicable changes of address of the divorced couple

There is no fee for the registration in question.