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.

Requirements for registration in Switzerland of birth, adoption, marriage, divorce or death in Namibia

Should one of the events mentioned above concerning a Swiss citizen occur in Namibia, the relevant documents will be required for the updating of the Swiss civil status registers. All documents have to be sent to the Regional Consular Centre in Pretoria.

No abridged certificates will be accepted. Documents must be in original with seal and signature of the competent Officer of the Department of Home Affairs or the Registrar of the (High) Court in charge. Good certified photocopies, issued by the competent Officer by the Namibian Police (Commissioner of Oaths) can also be accepted.

The required documents must always be issued by the responsible authority of the country where the event took place. If another country is involved, it is recommended to inquire with the Regional Consular Centre in Pretoria, which document is accepted by the Swiss authorities.

If the place of origin of the Swiss citizen is situated in Canton of Zürich or Vaud (Waadt), an Apostille is required for all the documents.

  • Final Order of Divorce 
    (Issuing authority in Namibia: High Court)
     
  • Form Questionnaire for Divorce Registration, completed and signed 
    (Issuing authority in Namibia: Consulate General Cape Town)
     

Additional document:

If the divorced couple has minor children:

  • Copy of the final sentence mentioning the holder of the parental authority regarding minor children
    (Issuing authority in Namibia: High Court)