A court order is required to dissolve a registered partnership.
In Switzerland, the courts are organised differently from canton to canton. If you do not know which court you should contact, find out from the cantonal justice department or consult a lawyer.
If the partners agree
If you and your partner agree to end your registered partnership, contact the competent court in your canton of residence.
You must submit the following documents to the court:
A written application, signed by both partners. The courts often provide forms or templates.
A dissolution agreement, i.e. a written document in which you set out what the consequences of dissolution will be, particularly by answering questions such as: How will the assets be divided? Who will remain in the apartment or house you rented together? If you have bought your home, will it be sold or will one partner buy the other's share? If there are step-children: will the step-parent be able to continue seeing them?
If you can't agree on all the issues, you can still file a joint application to dissolve the partnership and let the court decide on the outstanding questions.
The court may ask for other documents.
The law on divorce applies by analogy to the dissolution of registered partnerships.
If the partners disagree
You can also dissolve your registered partnership against the will of your partner.
If you wish to dissolve the partnership, you can apply to the competent court to do so if you have been living separately from your partner for at least one year.
Civil status: Once the partnership has been dissolved, your civil status changes to ‹dissolved partnership›.
Division of assets: In registered partnerships, the partners' assets are generally considered to be separate: at the moment of dissolution, each partner keeps their own assets. The partner who keeps the items that were bought together has to pay for the other partner's share of the item. NB: If you and your ex-partner have entered into an agreement to pool your assets, you will have to agree on how to divide them up.
Paying maintenance: In principle, after a registered partnership is dissolved, each person has to support themselves. If necessary, however, a partner who reduced their working hours or stopped working altogether as a result of the division of tasks during the registered partnership is entitled to be paid maintenance until such time as they are able to support themselves again.
Taxes: After the dissolution of the domestic partnership, the partners pay taxes separately.
·OASI(AHV/AVS) and occupational pensions: Each partner receives half of the old-age and survivors' insurance (OASI) and occupational pension fund assets accumulated during their partnership.
Children: If one of the partners has children, the court may decide that the other partner should continue to see them after the partnership has ended. NB: if you have adopted your partner's child, you automatically have rights of access to the child.
Succession: With the dissolution of the partnership, the two partners no longer have any right to inherit from each other.
For specific information on the procedure for dissolving a registered partnership and the costs involved, you should contact a lawyer of your choice.
This factsheet on registered partnerships provides useful information on dissolving a registered partnership (consequences for assets, succession, etc.).