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Old 07.06.2011, 14:25
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Child Maintenance

Hi,

I am an English father of 2 children ( 6 years and 2 years old ), they both now live with my soon to be ex Swiss wife in CH, I am seeking some advice on child maintenance, I already pay by private agreement apx 30% of my net wages each month and now she is aking for more and trying to take me to court in CH, I live in England and travel to CH once a month to see my kids, how much more will I have to pay ?

Thanks

Englishfather
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  #2  
Old 07.06.2011, 14:33
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Re: Child Maintenance

The Swiss Courts do not award percentages, they award fixed sums per month according to child's age.

You will also have to pay for a decent home and keep your wife until the youngest is 12 years old.

Go to court as soon as possible, you must give her half your pension until you are divorced.

Of course wife has to allow you to live in comfort too, and also pay you half her wealth accrued during the marriage.
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Old 07.06.2011, 14:35
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Re: Child Maintenance

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Hi,

I am an English father of 2 children ( 6 years and 2 years old ), they both now live with my soon to be ex Swiss wife in CH, I am seeking some advice on child maintenance, I already pay by private agreement apx 30% of my net wages each month and now she is aking for more and trying to take me to court in CH, I live in England and travel to CH once a month to see my kids, how much more will I have to pay ?

Thanks

Englishfather
Not sure that we have enough info to go on to answer your question, but this link might help - scroll down to almost the bottom, "Children for whom you or your partner have visiting rights".

Also have a look at this link regarding child maintenance payments.

Lastly I'd recommend finding yourself an english speaking lawyer who is well versed in the relevant Swiss law, as if you're going to be taken to court I would imagine you will need to be represented locally.
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Old 07.06.2011, 14:46
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Re: Child Maintenance

are we sure that swiss law applies here?
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Old 07.06.2011, 14:50
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Re: Child Maintenance

For the husband Swiss law is much better than UK law.
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Old 07.06.2011, 14:51
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Re: Child Maintenance

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are we sure that swiss law applies here?
Of course, why shouldn't it? If wife starts the divorce Swiss law will apply
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:02
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Re: Child Maintenance

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are we sure that swiss law applies here?
He does post that his soon-to-be-ex-wife is trying to take him to court in CH, so I'd assume they will apply local law.
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:07
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Re: Child Maintenance

The court that made the residency order has Jurisdiction. They will determine the amount to be paid when the parent with care applys to that court for maintenance. It is similar to the CSA in working out how much, I.e in the UK, 15% for the 1st child and 5% for the next up to a maximum of 25%. Special needs may see that increased, but contact travel costs can be offset. Both parents will be required to complete finance forms declaring income, outgoings and needs for the children. The maintenance order is enforced by the courts that have jurisdiction over the non resident parent. This is called REMO.

Pension payments are taken into consideration.

I am certain the Swiss wife has to apply to the UK courts and have the UK courts enforce the order if it was a UK court that determined the residency/the parent with care.

Divorce cannot proceed to Decree Absolute unless residency arrangements are in order.

The situation reverses should it be a Swiss court handling the divorce.

Hague Convention applies. Habitual residence applies.

Last edited by Upthehatters2008; 07.06.2011 at 23:06.
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:21
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Re: Child Maintenance

I would suggest that you consult a lawyer in Switzerland who specialises in cases such as yours, in order that you can ascertain what your legal rights and responsabilities are (what your soon to be ex-wife wants and what she is legally entitled to, may be two different things). Consult the website of the British Embassy in Berne, (or contact them by telephone), who can give you a list of English-speaking Swiss lawyers and the cantons in which they practice, and their area of speciality, in order that you know EXACTLY what the legal position is. The list of lawyers is also available from the British Consul in Geneva.

Good luck!
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:50
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Re: Child Maintenance

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The court that made the residency order has Jurisdiction. They will determine the amount to be paid when the parent with care applys to that court for maintenance. It is similar to the CSA in working out how much, I.e in the UK, 15% for the 1st child and 5% for the next up to a maximum of 25%. Special needs may see that increased, but contact travel costs can be offset. Both parents will be required to complete finance forms declaring income, outgoings and needs for the children. The maintenance order is enforced by the courts that have jurisdiction over the non resident parent. This is called RMO.

Pension payments are taken into consideration.

I am certain the Swiss wife has to apply to the UK courts and have the UK courts enforce the order if it was a UK court that determined the residency/the parent with care.

Divorce cannot proceed to Decree Absolute unless residency arrangements are in order.

The situation reverses should it be a Swiss court handling the divorce.

Hague Convention applies. Habitual residence applies.
Interesting stuff. Even so, the ssiss that I linked to above could be a handy resource for the OP given that two of their stated activities in respect of binational couples are

"in cases of separation or divorce, providing information on pertinent Swiss or foreign legal aspects with a special eye on guaranteeing the well-being and rights of the couple’s children"

and

"legal representation of non-Swiss nationals"
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Old 09.06.2011, 13:26
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Re: Child Maintenance

Just wanted to add my two bits:

Generally, jurisdiction for divorce cases goes to where ever divorce is filed first.

The object of child maintenance is to ensure that your kids don't have to forfeit quality as a result of the divorce, regardless where they're living.

All the best
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Old 09.06.2011, 13:32
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Re: Child Maintenance

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Just wanted to add my two bits:

Generally, jurisdiction for divorce cases goes to where ever divorce is filed first.

The object of child maintenance is to ensure that your kids don't have to forfeit quality as a result of the divorce, regardless where they're living.

All the best

Can a Swiss court have jurisdiction over a UK marriage ?
It seems a UK marriage will need to involve UK courts.
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Old 09.06.2011, 13:42
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Re: Child Maintenance

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Not sure that we have enough info to go on to answer your question, but this link might help - scroll down to almost the bottom, "Children for whom you or your partner have visiting rights".

Also have a look at this link regarding child maintenance payments.

Lastly I'd recommend finding yourself an english speaking lawyer who is well versed in the relevant Swiss law, as if you're going to be taken to court I would imagine you will need to be represented locally.
These are great links, thanks for sharing.
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Old 09.06.2011, 13:42
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Re: Child Maintenance

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Can a Swiss court have jurisdiction over a UK marriage ?
It seems a UK marriage will need to involve UK courts.
No, where the marriage took place is of no importance, it is where the divorce is made that matters.

Tom
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Old 09.06.2011, 13:51
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Re: Child Maintenance

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No, where the marriage took place is of no importance, it is where the divorce is made that matters.

Tom

True to the most part, after some frantic Googling.
But I believe certain restrictions apply in this case...


Under the Family Law Act 1986 an overseas divorce obtained by means of judicial or other proceedings is recognised in the UK only if:

• it is effective under the law of the country in which it was obtained; and
• at the relevant date (i.e. the date on which proceedings were begun), either party was either habitually resident or domiciled in that country or was a national of that country.

The term “judicial or other proceedings” requires that there should have been some formal proceedings, either before a court or some other formal body recognised by the state for that purpose (e.g. in Pakistan the Union Council). It is an important aspect that the judicial or other body should be impartial as to the outcome of the proceedings.


An overseas divorce obtained otherwise than by means of proceedings is recognised in the UK if:

• it is effective under the law of the country in which it was obtained; and
• at the relevant date (i.e. the date on which the divorce was obtained), both parties were domiciled in that country or one was domiciled there and the other was domiciled in a country which recognised the divorce; and
neither party had been habitually resident in the United Kingdom throughout the period of one year immediately preceding that date.
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Old 09.06.2011, 13:59
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Re: Child Maintenance

Yes, but it is clearly stated that the wife lives in CH, and given that it takes a while to get a divorce here, the 1 year thing is no problem.

Tom
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Old 09.06.2011, 14:32
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Re: Child Maintenance

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Yes, but it is clearly stated that the wife lives in CH, and given that it takes a while to get a divorce here, the 1 year thing is no problem.

Tom

That 1 year would be for the application date, I read UK courts are unwilling to entertain any overseas divorce before that, preferring to keep Jurisdiction. Swiss courts will not over-rule the UK courts for that 1st year. It would be wise for the OP to begin proceedings in the UK immediately, and retain Jurisdiction within the UK, and thus maintenance arrangements. CSA will not get involved / cannot get involved because one of the parties is overseas (an not Armed Forces etc). This allows the UK courts to intervene and set maintenance payments. This will be respected by Swiss courts and enforced if necessary.
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Old 09.06.2011, 14:43
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Re: Child Maintenance

But as the wife is a Swiss national residing in Switzerland, I would expect that different rules would apply than had she been a UK citizen.

Tom
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Old 09.06.2011, 15:00
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Re: Child Maintenance

I agree with Upthehatters2008.
It becomes a race of who applies for divorce first and I would apply in the UK because then it forces her to appoint a UK lawyer and she may also be more willing to negotiate on more reasonable terms. (If she is unemployed and starts the proceedings here, she will get a state paid lawyer whilst you will have to pay for it yourself)

Having said that, there are a few questions you must ask yourself as a father.
1. Is x amount really enough for my children to have a good quality of life
2. If the mom is working, all good and well but we all know the swiss school system makes it almost impossible for her to work full time and or financially viable with 2 children. Day care costs are a killer!
3. If you had custody of the two children would you be able to give them a good quality of life on the current maintenance amount?

I wish you all the best and hope that you find a good solution without having an expensive exhausting legal war. Children are the only casualties in divorce battles

Kindest regards
Jolie

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That 1 year would be for the application date, I read UK courts are unwilling to entertain any overseas divorce before that, preferring to keep Jurisdiction. Swiss courts will not over-rule the UK courts for that 1st year. It would be wise for the OP to begin proceedings in the UK immediately, and retain Jurisdiction within the UK, and thus maintenance arrangements. CSA will not get involved / cannot get involved because one of the parties is overseas (an not Armed Forces etc). This allows the UK courts to intervene and set maintenance payments. This will be respected by Swiss courts and enforced if necessary.
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Old 09.06.2011, 15:50
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Re: Child Maintenance

Personally I wouldn't focus on "making sure" that it got dealt with in the UK or not. I'd look at "which jurisdiction is going to give the best outcome for the child" and second to that (by a long way) "which jurisdiction is going to give the best outcome for me", and then decide whether to take actions for it to be resolved in UK / CH accordingly...
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