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Old 11.06.2011, 14:47
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Child support law enforced outside Switzerland

Many years ago my New Zealand husband had a one night stand with a Swiss girl who then returned to Switzerland and later contacted him telling him she was having his child and wanted nothing to do with him. Fast forward 17 years and my husband was recently contacted by the boy's mother asking for backdated child support. Then today, his now grown up son has been in touch asking for SF350 a month towards health insurance. The son says he was told by "community" that he must sue my husband through the courts if he doesn't pay up.

I'm in a panic. We don't have any money, we have a 2 year old and another child on the way and I'm alarmed at where this could lead. Is my husband liable for child support for the last 18 years and is he responsible for paying for his son's health insurance even though he's nearly 18?

I'm English and we now live in the UK. Are the Swiss Courts able to order my husband to pay up even though we don't live in Switzerland? And would they take our means (or lack of) into consideration?

I'm really scared and confused and your help and advice would be very much appreciated.
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Old 11.06.2011, 15:21
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Re: Child support law enforced outside Switzerland

Im really sorry to hear about this situation, I have heard of people getting troubles to collect alamony or child support money when outside of the country but I cant say that for a fact. A lot of people here will be able to help you with their experiences, Im sure. Just wanted to welcome you to the forum and expres you my sympaties. Hope it gets all sorted out for the well being of your family. This is a loong weekend in switzerland so probably people wont be too much around EF, but hopefully in a couple of days more people will see your therad and help

*** Quick update (I need other members to confirm)
I just told my husband about this situation as he has a son with a woman he never married before we met. My husband explained me there is a timeline to make this and its the first 6 years of the kid. For example for the moment the child is born until he turns 6 years she could register who is the father of the kid and your husband should have received a letter from switzerland requesting him to recognize him. After this time he is released of any obligation.
My husband also had his child as a 1NS and as soon as the baby was born he made a paternity test because also if after the 6 years of the child you find out he is not yours, then you are still responsable to pay.
The other thing is that my husband was taking care of his son from age 3 to 6 because the mother had problems to take care of her responsabilities and when my husband tried to get money back from her as child support for this time, they only give him from the day he reported he wanted the money, they didnt make her give anything backdated.
***
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Last edited by coconut; 11.06.2011 at 15:38.
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Old 11.06.2011, 15:37
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Re: Child support law enforced outside Switzerland

You need to seek legal advice in your country of residence, and determine what bi-lateral agreements are in place. This sounds more like extortion than anything else.

Some important issues are:

  • Who is listed as the father on the boy's birth certificate? If it is not your husband, then a DNA test is going to be necessary. If yes, was this done with your husband's consent? Disputing fatherhood might buy you valuable time.
  • The 17 year delay will be taken into consideration more than anything else.
Again, seek advice locally to find out what juristictions apply. But doing nothing is probably not an option in this case.
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Old 11.06.2011, 15:48
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Re: Child support law enforced outside Switzerland

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Many years ago my New Zealand husband had a one night stand with a Swiss girl who then returned to Switzerland and later contacted him telling him she was having his child and wanted nothing to do with him. Fast forward 17 years and my husband was recently contacted by the boy's mother asking for backdated child support. <snip>
How was it possible to track down your husband after 17 years, considering people in the UK are not registered? Has any correspondence been entered into - or are the Swiss parties unsure if contact has been made.

I feel there is more to this than we have been told...
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Old 11.06.2011, 16:00
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Re: Child support law enforced outside Switzerland

It's good news bad news, if indeed he is the Father of the child.

The Swiss agency can backdate the claim, and pursue through the UK courts via the REMO agreement both countries subscribe to. However, the UK courts will not force blood out of a stone, and will take the view that the backdated arrears can be paid off at a rate that will not enforce hardship on your family, current payments, possibly until the child leaves full time education, will be due as per Swiss calculations.

I am of the view that a Swiss court cannot enforce a DNA test on a UK national, and that leaves a huge task for those on the Swiss side to prove who the Father is. Denying being the Father, should it turn out to be true could incur some heavy Swiss fees and charges, but I believe it would be a fair gamble.

There is always the 3rd option of negotiation and settlement.
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