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Old 07.12.2017, 16:26
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leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

My ex and I are unfortunately engaged in a long running court case (for a Gutertrennung and alimony)

I'm starting another job in January, it is a commodity trading firm and the company said I can work in their Geneva office (which means changing canton for me) or also in London or Dubai.

In London I think that my net salary would be less because of the higher taxes and my disposable income would also be less because of the high rents. Everybody knows that Sterling is also very volatile and has fallen a lot too. In Dubai I would probably earn a little bit more.

My ex is pursuing the court case to try and maximize her alimony.

I already spoke to the lawyer and he seems to think the judge will calculate alimony on my last Swiss income because those figures have already been submitted to the court, even if I go to the UK. Of course, this would be absurd because if they ask for it to be enforced in the UK, it would wipe out most of the net salary: I would only have enough money to pay rent and nothing for food, clothes, a car or holidays.

However, the case is not finalized yet, no orders have been made by the judge.

My question is about the impact on the case if I leave Switzerland and the timing:

  1. if a court case is already in progress like this and the husband leaves Switzerland and the court can not serve notices on the husband can the case proceed anyway, does the case become suspended until he returns or does the case get thrown out of the court?
  2. if the husband moves outside Switzerland before the separation is finished does the judge really have to use the last Swiss income, which seems absurd or does the judge have to repeat all the calculations?
  3. if the husband moves outside Switzerland after the separation is finished and the spouse tries to enforce the alimony claim abroad, can the alimony be recalculated, either by a judge in Switzerland or the other country?
  4. reading through the forum, I've read that after separating some spouses simply get on a plane and leave Switzerland so they can't be served any notices from the court until the 2 year waiting period for a divorce has passed. Would this be the smart move for me? Does this actually work or not? Should I have done this before my ex started the claim for alimony?


Please note that I'm not deliberately trying to move to avoid my obligations to the children but I don't want to be stuck paying an absurd amount of alimony. There is a big gap between the amount she needs to support 2 children, the amount she is entitled to in Swiss law and the amount she is actually demanding. I already pay their health insurance and take them shopping for clothes for example. I suspect that she is also going to marry somebody else after the divorce so she is hardly going to be destitute.
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Old 07.12.2017, 16:31
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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There is a big gap between the amount she needs to support 2 children, the amount she is entitled to in Swiss law and the amount she is actually demanding..
What you think she needs to support the children?

As to the rest: no idea, what does your lawyer say? The court case will definitely continue, whether you are in CH or not.
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Old 07.12.2017, 16:38
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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What you think she needs to support the children?
They are my children too so I certainly don't want them be living in a cardboard box.

The amount of money needed to pay for food, clothing and health insurance is fairly easy to calculate. Rent is also fairly static in Switzerland.

Any other money beyond that is not fulfilling a need.

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As to the rest: no idea, what does your lawyer say? The court case will definitely continue, whether you are in CH or not.
The lawyer only wants to advise me on the "standard" option, assuming I would spend the rest of my life in Switzerland like a Swiss person and do everything the Swiss way. Swiss people seem very blinkered like this. That is why I am asking about it in a forum for ex-pats.
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Old 07.12.2017, 16:42
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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The amount of money needed to pay for food, clothing and health insurance is fairly easy to calculate. Rent is also fairly static in Switzerland.

Any other money beyond that is not fulfilling a need.
Ouch......
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Old 07.12.2017, 16:45
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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The amount of money needed to pay for food, clothing and health insurance is fairly easy to calculate. Rent is also fairly static in Switzerland.

Any other money beyond that is not fulfilling a need.
You might want to include school, perhaps... And I seem to remember children like to have fun every now and then, which includes toys, electronic devices, and whatever children find to be entertaining nowadays.

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The lawyer only wants to advise me on the "standard" option, assuming I would spend the rest of my life in Switzerland like a Swiss person and do everything the Swiss way. Swiss people seem very blinkered like this. That is why I am asking about it in a forum for ex-pats.
Purely based on this, my advice would be to change your lawyer...

Surely the case, once started, will reach a conclusion in court whether both parties are still resident in CH or not.
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Old 07.12.2017, 16:57
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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  1. if a court case is already in progress like this and the husband leaves Switzerland and the court can not serve notices on the husband can the case proceed anyway, does the case become suspended until he returns or does the case get thrown out of the court?
  2. if the husband moves outside Switzerland before the separation is finished does the judge really have to use the last Swiss income, which seems absurd or does the judge have to repeat all the calculations?
  3. if the husband moves outside Switzerland after the separation is finished and the spouse tries to enforce the alimony claim abroad, can the alimony be recalculated, either by a judge in Switzerland or the other country?
  4. reading through the forum, I've read that after separating some spouses simply get on a plane and leave Switzerland so they can't be served any notices from the court until the 2 year waiting period for a divorce has passed. Would this be the smart move for me? Does this actually work or not? Should I have done this before my ex started the claim for alimony?
If you change jobs and earn less then the judge views this as a tactic to reduce the amount you can pay and it is punishable under Swiss Law. However, if your job is ending and or being fired then if you write to the judge, suggest through your lawyer with a reasonable explanation then yes it can be.

Yes, the case can continue in your absence.

Yes, it can be re/calculated but expect upwards ... again read the former.

Leaving the country and burying your head ... forget that is stupid as bar I think a few countries the order can be enforced in most countries in the world.

Surprised your lawyer could not answer these, check with him, do not take my word for it.

Check out the website www.ch.ch and scroll across to divorce ... answers most of your questions plus the bit where they can throw you in jail ...

Holidays ... sorry for laughing .. but you need to look up minimum vital ... that does not include holidays ...

Hope it helps ..
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Old 07.12.2017, 17:08
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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They are my children too so I certainly don't want them be living in a cardboard box.

The amount of money needed to pay for food, clothing and health insurance is fairly easy to calculate. Rent is also fairly static in Switzerland.

Any other money beyond that is not fulfilling a need.
Phew. If only it were earlier on a Friday.....
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Old 07.12.2017, 17:31
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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You might want to include school, perhaps... And I seem to remember children like to have fun every now and then, which includes toys, electronic devices, and whatever children find to be entertaining nowadays.
Toys are not a need. Children don't die without toys.

Many divorced spouses would probably prefer to give toys directly to their children than give money to their ex in the hope it will be used to buy toys.

This also makes it clear to the children who the toys really come from.

My ex is not an alcoholic or anything fortunately and I know she looks after the kids but it is basic human psychology, if you give people more money than they actually need, they find ways to justify spending it.

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Purely based on this, my advice would be to change your lawyer...
I'm told that sometimes helps but I could just be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. I'd be really keen to hear what worked or didn't work for other people.
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Old 07.12.2017, 17:33
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

I have no words.......

And as it is not yet Friday, I will behave and remain silent on this

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Old 07.12.2017, 17:44
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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They are my children too so I certainly don't want them be living in a cardboard box.

The amount of money needed to pay for food, clothing and health insurance is fairly easy to calculate. Rent is also fairly static in Switzerland.

Any other money beyond that is not fulfilling a need.



The lawyer only wants to advise me on the "standard" option, assuming I would spend the rest of my life in Switzerland like a Swiss person and do everything the Swiss way. Swiss people seem very blinkered like this. That is why I am asking about it in a forum for ex-pats.

How very odd of the Swiss.

Wife and kids stay in Switzerland? They're supposed to live on English alimony here?
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Old 07.12.2017, 18:09
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

https://www.ch.ch/en/divorce-and-mai...contributions/

And if you think you'll escape making payments by going to the UK - forget it.

https://www.englishforum.ch/family-m...k-details.html
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Old 07.12.2017, 18:43
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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I have no words.......

And as it is not yet Friday, I will behave and remain silent on this

I agree with you, nothing to respond directly to OP that would not be deleted.

The children don't have to grow up with him anymore, so it might still be a sad story but perhaps with a happy ending.
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Old 07.12.2017, 18:44
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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If you change jobs and earn less then the judge views this as a tactic to reduce the amount you can pay and it is punishable under Swiss Law. However, if your job is ending and or being fired then if you write to the judge, suggest through your lawyer with a reasonable explanation then yes it can be.
No, this is not some sort of rort.

My previous job was through a contracting agency. They make it look like a Swiss payroll but it is not really equivalent and in this case it was not renewed. My ex never really understood this, she just looks at the number in the bank account and thinks she can extrapolate it indefinitely but contracts don't really work that way. We weren't here so long either but other contractors have told me they have all had periods with the RAV when contracts were not renewed and they often have to accept renewals on lower rates when the franc goes up.

The new Swiss salary in Geneva would be less anyway as it is a permie position and the deductions for taxes, health insurance and the cost of rent potentially higher.

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Yes, it can be re/calculated but expect upwards ... again read the former.
but where would the money come from? Can the judge order my old agency to renew the contract?

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Leaving the country and burying your head ... forget that is stupid as bar I think a few countries the order can be enforced in most countries in the world.
That's what I thought too, but I had heard that is only really a big factor for people who stay in the EU countries. I suppose it depends on whether you have kids or not and where your friends are too.
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Old 07.12.2017, 18:49
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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And if you think you'll escape making payments by going to the UK - forget it.
No, I wasn't hoping to escape making payments, I'm aiming to ensure a level of payment that is affordable in the long term. The last thing any kids need is a father who becomes burnt out or bankrupt paying to support an ex living in luxury.
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Old 07.12.2017, 19:02
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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No, I wasn't hoping to escape making payments, I'm aiming to ensure a level of payment that is affordable in the long term. The last thing any kids need is a father who becomes burnt out or bankrupt paying to support an ex living in luxury.
Unlikely to happen with the court involved. From my divorce link:

"The size of the maintenance contributions should reflect the needs of the child, although they must not exceed the means of the person paying maintenance and drive them below the minimum subsistence level."
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Old 07.12.2017, 19:04
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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They are my children too so I certainly don't want them be living in a cardboard box.

The amount of money needed to pay for food, clothing and health insurance is fairly easy to calculate. Rent is also fairly static in Switzerland.

Any other money beyond that is not fulfilling a need.
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Toys are not a need. Children don't die without toys.
Those were two very ill-advised and badly worded posts from someone looking for helpful advice and feedback if I ever I saw some. What you want is enough for your children to live on including more than just the bare minimum to survive, and that is not conveyed in what you said.

Does your ex work or was she always a housewife?
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Old 07.12.2017, 19:27
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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Those were two very ill-advised and badly worded posts from someone looking for helpful advice and feedback if I ever I saw some. What you want is enough for your children to live on including more than just the bare minimum to survive, and that is not conveyed in what you said.
"need" has a clear meaning. Maslow's hierarchy of needs elaborates on it, nothing there about iphones but I hear there are plenty of spouses (both husbands and wives) who go to divorce court insisting that mobile phone bills (for themselves and their children) are part of their budget.


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Does your ex work or was she always a housewife?
She works part time and just as I anticipate she is going to marry again, I suspect she might work more after locking in an alimony arrangement that is to her benefit.
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Old 07.12.2017, 19:38
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

it doesn't happen often but this thread makes me feel really sad.
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Old 07.12.2017, 19:42
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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it doesn't happen often but this thread makes me feel really sad.
Divorces are saddening things. Most particularly when one, or both sides try to "win" them.
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Old 07.12.2017, 19:55
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Re: leaving Switzerland in the middle of separation / divorce / alimony procedures

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it doesn't happen often but this thread makes me feel really sad.
Don't be so quick to judge the OP despite his badly worded posts. He is obviously extremely bitter (and it will only get worse for a while) and there is a good chance his wife is trying to put him through the wringer more than she needs to compared to if there had been an amicable agreement. It could also be the OP is an absolute arse who made her life a misery, but in the end this is all speculation.

I think reading between the lines that the OP just wants to pay the minimum he can to the wife for living costs for the family, and then spend the rest of the money on the kids as he wants to.
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