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Old 08.02.2012, 14:06
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need help with divorce situation

Hi , I have given Switzerland a try ( 5 years ) and I just cant seem to make this work for me ... My husband is cold , as is his family , I realize its a courtural thing in the smaller swiss mountain villages , but I cant help thinking that i am being punished for not being "swiss" or Ramanish . I am not clean enough, not submissive enough , not swiss enough, and didnt learn the language fast enough ... I am American , and I have a strong independent attitude ( or I wouldnt have the balls to leave my friends and family to come here) I manage my husbands hotel , and have been more or less treated like a slave for the past 5 years... as a manager my staff is expected to hate me , call me a witch , and be disrespectful , as that is what young kids do , yet I have to stand tall and strong to take the crap dished out to me .... then I am being called cold , for not breaking down. i am damned if i do damn.....
I think I am finally ready to go . Problem is that I signed a pre nuptual agreement ( written in a language I couldnt understand ( stipid )... that I would leave exactly the way I came here ... with my suitcase and animals ...It cost me a fortune to get her , as our friendly IRS audited me on my way out of the USA ; ) and my husband refused to pay me for the first 9 months i was here working. Can i get that 9 months pay from him if i leave ? it would really help me get back on my feet , and I did start working the day after i arrived. problem is I have no time card to prove the hours. I am thinking i am F***ed ... In that case I will stay here as a slave for another 10 months until I have to money to leave ... I hope someone can offer some light on this dim situation before I turn into a raging alcoholic to cope with my entrapment ...
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Old 08.02.2012, 14:16
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Re: need help with divorce situation

Sorry you are having problems, it's never easy moving into family business in any country.

I would apply for a divorce, find a female lawyer. Take half the money and leave. I don't think a pre nuptial agreement can overrule the Swiss laws, or can it?
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Old 08.02.2012, 14:19
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Re: need help with divorce situation

Go to your local Sozialamt and get professional advice. They will advice you on your monetary entitlements, pension funds, etc. Because you could not read German at the time of signing your pre-nup, it might be considered inapplicable as well.

Good luck and let us know how things are going. This is where EF shows its strengths. We are here to catch you when you feel like you're falling and point you in the right direction if you're confused. And sometimes, just hearing a friendly word of support is all you need to bring some sunshine into your life again.
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Old 08.02.2012, 14:21
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Re: need help with divorce situation

I think I am stuck here for another 10 months ..... buckel up , looks like i am goin for a ride
hes got me , damn those Swiss are smart about their money ... I actually dont want much , jut enough to get me and my pony home , and back on my feet , you would think after everything i have done for him and his beloved hotel he would do this for me
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Old 08.02.2012, 14:24
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Re: need help with divorce situation

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I think I am stuck here for another 10 months ..... buckel up , looks like i am goin for a ride
hes got me , damn those Swiss are smart about their money ... I actually dont want much , jut enough to get me and my pony home , and back on my feet , you would think after everything i have done for him and his beloved hotel he would do this for me
How do you know "he's got you" without professional advice? And why are you stuck for another 10 months? Pull yourself together, go to Sozialamt, and get a lawyer.
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Old 08.02.2012, 14:26
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Re: need help with divorce situation

What a tough situation to be in - sounds really emotional and like you've tried hard to make it work but are facing the reality that it isn't. :/

I'm not sure about Swiss laws but will share some of my knowledge of a prenup.

I am guessing you can contest it here as you can in many other countries. On that note, there are a couple of questions that, depending on the answer, could be grounds to contest it. As already suggested though, you should check things out with a lawyer.

1. When you signed the prenup, was it your husband's lawyer or your own who witnessed the signature?

2. Was the prenup explained to you/translated before you signed it? If so, by whom?

P.S. Oh and not to take the piss here (no pun intended), but if I happened to take your "raging alcoholic" comment seriously...should you have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of signing, that's grounds for contesting too.

Last edited by little_isabella; 08.02.2012 at 14:54.
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Old 08.02.2012, 14:28
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Re: need help with divorce situation

You're in for a roller coaster ride of emotions and legalities. If you feel you're being abused in any way or form, go to your local Sozialamt now. It's time to prepare for what might be a very bumpy journey. The Sozialamt will be able to help you emotionally and will give you legal advice as well as giving pointers on what to look for in a lawyer.

Start focussing on you. You cannot change your husband but you can change your situation and how you see yourself. It will take time, maybe a lot of time, but it will come as long as you work on yourself.
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Old 08.02.2012, 14:29
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Re: need help with divorce situation

I wouldn't be resigned to feeling stuck here for another ten months without first doing as Olygirl suggested and speaking first to the Sozialamt.

Also as previously stated, there are Swiss laws that may trump whatever pre-nup you may have signed. You are also required to understand what you are signing. So you should also consult a lawyer to find out what your rights ACTUALLY are, and what you are really entitled to. Do not just take your husbands word for it, as he has his own best interests in mind.

Good luck.

Last edited by bedevil; 08.02.2012 at 14:30. Reason: spelling, what else?
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Old 08.02.2012, 14:29
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Re: need help with divorce situation

Four hotels in one village, do you get any customers?

http://map.search.ch/breil-brigels?poi=gastro
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Old 08.02.2012, 17:13
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Re: need help with divorce situation

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Problem is that I signed a pre nuptual agreement ( written in a language I couldnt understand ( stipid )... that I would leave exactly the way I came here ... with my suitcase and animals
It seems like you know what was in the pre-nup - it is hard to imagine otherwise because such a contract must be notarized, in part to make sure both parties know what they are signing. Not everything in Swiss law can be changed so it is very important that you consult a lawyer before making any rash decisions or throwing in the towel altogether. You really should read through the contract. There are basically 3 possibilities for a marital property arrangement in Switzerland and a marriage contract is constrained by these laws. So the first step is to understand which martial property scheme you agreed to and then what changes have been made. As Swiss law is now available online in English, you should be able to do some initial reading on your own and be then better prepared when you meet with a lawyer.

I am sorry about your situation. Another acquaintance of mine recently moved back to her home country after her marriage broke down - she was also running a hotel in a small mountain valley in Graubünden. Village mountain life can be tough.

Oh, it may seem obvious but you will certainly want to consult a lawyer from (way) outside the village where you live. Good luck.
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Old 09.02.2012, 10:47
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Re: need help with divorce situation

Hi , i really appreciate all the suggestions . I have to be honest here ..... the people in Graubunden scare me ... they have not given me a feeling that I am welcome , or wanted in Switzerland . Not trying to be a victom here ... but I came here with fresh new eyes , I was open and friendly to everyone , and the response in return has been negative , and sour I know its the coulture of the swiss in these small romanish villages ... but I have learned by living here that you cant trust people here. just being completely honest . I love my husband , and the lifestyle minus the villagers , but my husband is a product of his environment , and he is over 50 , so the willingness to change will be difficult . The people here are marters, depressed , workaholics . Their self worth is based on how hard they work and how miserible they are .... (how jolly ) I am correcting my husband everytime he speaks to me with a jab, insult , or an order ... this seems to be everyother sentance. Maybe , with luck , if he is stopped in the middle of a demand, or insult , he will see how often this is happening . ( maybe I am being a dreamer ) I know he does love me , he just doesnt know how to show it in any other way , as the family communicates in jabs and verbal punches... I have horses that I show , I belong to a horse club, and have even become the secretary and help organize the show , I bring in the American judges , and do have my freedom to do my own thing with my horses ... So life isnt bad ... just the husband... think he can be retrained , if I have the energy to do it .
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Old 09.02.2012, 10:54
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Re: need help with divorce situation

I really sympathise, having "followed my husband" for quite a long time and now appreciating how positive the fact of finally both being in a foreign country is for our marriage.

but your last post sounds more positive, as if there could indeed be a good basis to work on towards some form of actual happiness. have you thought of marriage counselling? I know, easier said than done, but before taking extreme decisions, maybe worth a try?

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Hi , i really appreciate all the suggestions . I have to be honest here ..... the people in Graubunden scare me ... they have not given me a feeling that I am welcome , or wanted in Switzerland . Not trying to be a victom here ... but I came here with fresh new eyes , I was open and friendly to everyone , and the response in return has been negative , and sour I know its the coulture of the swiss in these small romanish villages ... but I have learned by living here that you cant trust people here. just being completely honest . I love my husband , and the lifestyle minus the villagers , but my husband is a product of his environment , and he is over 50 , so the willingness to change will be difficult . The people here are marters, depressed , workaholics . Their self worth is based on how hard they work and how miserible they are .... (how jolly ) I am correcting my husband everytime he speaks to me with a jab, insult , or an order ... this seems to be everyother sentance. Maybe , with luck , if he is stopped in the middle of a demand, or insult , he will see how often this is happening . ( maybe I am being a dreamer ) I know he does love me , he just doesnt know how to show it in any other way , as the family communicates in jabs and verbal punches... I have horses that I show , I belong to a horse club, and have even become the secretary and help organize the show , I bring in the American judges , and do have my freedom to do my own thing with my horses ... So life isnt bad ... just the husband... think he can be retrained , if I have the energy to do it .
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Old 09.02.2012, 10:58
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Re: need help with divorce situation

The hotel business is one of the toughest businesses on a marriage. Many relationships fail because of the constant time and stress involved.

You cannot change your husband. You can only change yourself. Start focussing on you and what makes you happy. Everytime you start thinking, "if only my husband...." stop. That's wishful thinking. Turn your thoughts around to, "what can I do to make myself happy?" and "when someone tries to hurt me, then THEY have a problem." This will involve creating some emotional distance from your husband so that his retorts do not hurt you as much.

It's a hell of a journey and no one can predict where it will lead.

It's time to focus on yourself and be the best that you can be. Do not make your happiness dependent on your husband.
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Old 10.02.2012, 09:41
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Re: need help with divorce situation

So you didn't leave the forum for good, after all. I'm glad you've found a use for EF.

And I'm sorry things haven't worked out for you, really I am. All I can do is echo the advice to get professional/qualified advice. That prenup may be worthless.
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Old 10.02.2012, 10:02
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Re: need help with divorce situation

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Sorry you are having problems, it's never easy moving into family business in any country.

I would apply for a divorce, find a female lawyer. Take half the money and leave. I don't think a pre nuptial agreement can overrule the Swiss laws, or can it?
Swiss law provides for a marriage regime with no common assets (separation of assets), as well as sharing of all assets, or only those acquired during the marriage.

So, which type is yours? The default is sharing of assets acquired during marriage, but the other types can be selected before or during the marriage.

If you have a separation of assets, then no, you don't get anything of his.

Tom
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Old 10.02.2012, 10:44
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Re: need help with divorce situation

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Swiss law provides for a marriage regime with no common assets (separation of assets), as well as sharing of all assets, or only those acquired during the marriage.

So, which type is yours? The default is sharing of assets acquired during marriage, but the other types can be selected before or during the marriage.
I don't know whether the OP's marriage will have been contracted in German or Romantsch... in the hope that it's German these would be the words to look for:
"Errungenschaftsbeteiligung" (the default setting - each of you retains whatever you brought to the marriage and you split assets acquired during the marriage 50/50)
"Gütergemeinschaft" (you split everything 50/50)
"Gütertrennung" (your assets are totally separated during the marriage, you each retain what you have and there is nothing to split)

Somebody else (Faltrad?) can maybe give us the corresponding terms in Romantsch.

When you get married in Switzerland, they have to explain these options to you and let you choose one of the three.

However, any of these can also be modified, either at the time or later, by a separate contract re-specifying the details. If you have signed a further contract, nobody here can advise you without knowing the specifics. In that case I'd second Ziger's advice to engage a lawyer from somewhere reasonably far away (in the same canton is OK, but with no connections to your village or your in-laws) and ask him to read it through and advise you on your options.
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