During the last years, divorce regulations underwent deep changes and not only because of the reform of the year 2000, but also because of the entry into force of the new Swiss procedural law in January 2011.
Novelties can be summarized as follows:

  • Possibility of issuing an application for joint divorce.
  • Each of the partners may oppose the divorce only if at the submission of the proceedings not more than two years of virtual separation have elapsed.
  • Now, the right to receive a contribution of maintenance (alimony) after the divorce only depends on objective factors and no more from the fault, too (that must no more be ascertained compulsorily from the Judge).
  • Today divorced parents have the possibility of jointly exercise the parental authority on the children, independently of whether they are entrusted to one or the other parent.
  • The rules concerning the recognition of the joint parental authority on children are valid for unmarried couples, too.
  • One year after the divorce, the divorced woman may decide whether to take her last name as maiden again or the name she had before the marriage.
  • Any provision for the case of death taken from a partner to the benefit of the other one (for example, testament, contract of inheritance, etc.) decays at the divorce unless it has been drawn up during the divorce proceedings themselves.
  • After divorce, the Guardianship authority (in Ticino, the competent Regional Guardianship Commission – since January 1, 2013, Regional Protection Authorities) may remind parents and children to their duties, giving them instructions whenever the visitation rights are not exercised, are hindered or turn out to be harmful for the children.
  • In any case, the parent who is not entrusted with the custody of children has the right to get information from the other parent or from third parties about special events occurring in the life of the child and to be consulted before important decisions are taken for the growth of the child.
  • The parent who does not exercise the visitation rights can be forced to pay a higher contribution of maintenance.