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Divorce and child custody

Since 1 July 2014, joint custody applies on divorce.

How is custody organised?

The divorce court settles the rights and obligations of parents, in particular concerning parental responsibility and the child’s residence, contact or the sharing of parental duties, and the child support contribution. Normally, the parents are given joint parental responsibility.

Sole custody is only awarded to the mother or the father in specific cases. The child’s welfare is the main priority. If the child’s interests require specific protection, the court awards custody to only one parent.

If there is a significant change in circumstances, a reassessment can be made of who should be assigned parental responsibility. If the parents agree, the child protection authority is responsible for this assessment, and if the parent cannot agree, the court decides.

OASI childcare credits

The divorce court or the child protection authority decides on the allocation of OASI childcare credits. The entire childcare credit is allocated to the parent responsible for most of the childcare duties.

Factsheet on childcare credit

Parental authority - revision of the Swiss Civil