Divorce

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 abroad in the Swiss civil status register (Infostar), the originals of the following documents must be as a rule submitted to the Swiss representation with any necessary legalisation for forwarding to Switzerland:

  • divorce decree with the date on which it takes effect
  • 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

These documents are intended to the competent civil status authority and will not be returned.

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.

In order to register a divorce in the family records in Switzerland the following documents are required:

  • divorce papers with the date the divorce was granted legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (not older than 6 months) and translated by an authorized translator of this Embassy into an official Swiss language (you will find the list of the translators here

Kindly note that the Embassy of Switzerland only accepts divorce certificates which are final and irreversible:

  • Baynouna Soghra /بىنونة صغرى
  • Ba‘en / بائن 

In case your divorce is reversible (Ragaey / رجعى ), you are kindly requested to provide the Embassy with the following document:

  • Court decision including the date of legal effect or a family certificate (Qeid a’ely/ قيد عائلي) issued three months after the divorce date by the civil status office of the divorce place.