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Old 05.06.2020, 22:51
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Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

Hello,

Unfortunately my relationship with my partner is approaching its end. We have a baby, less than one year old, and I am the father w/ 50/50 custody and recognized paternity (everything is official).

From what I have read around, fathers getting into custody battles with moms, are in dire straits here in Switzerland and not easy to get a fair outcome. Especially with a young baby like mine (< 1 year old). This is the case in courts as far as i know, and i have also heard that KESPs are not very father friendly as a general rule.

While I am preparing to go through this hell, I tried to look for family lawyers and I have contacted one or two. But I have no idea how to know if they are good. It's not easy to find a record of their cases and how successful they were.

Does anyone know any good family lawyer with experience in defending fathers in custody battles (both in KESP mediation and courts)? (expectation is to get the most out of a difficult situation - I don't expect miracles). Any recommendation would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 05.06.2020, 22:55
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

Can't help with the lawyer sorry, but I understood that custody in normally split 50/50 in Switzerland
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Old 05.06.2020, 23:08
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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Can't help with the lawyer sorry, but I understood that custody in normally split 50/50 in Switzerland
Thank you - 50/50 is indeed the legal custody (health & education matters etc). As far as I know, it's not the same with physical custody (where kid lives and spends nights)
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Old 05.06.2020, 23:20
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

Can't help with lawyers - but do you need one?

Your post is not clear it sounds like you are not married. So no divorce procedures necessary.
<< and I am the father w/ 50/50 custody and recognized paternity (everything is official).>> You already have 50/50 custody officially sorted. A court would have no reason to change that.

So if I understood correctly, all that needs to be sorted is financial support for the child, visiting times (do you want the baby to be with you half the week? Etc.)

Why don't you try an advice centre first? like this one
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Old 05.06.2020, 23:43
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

Custody is just the legal position of parental responsibility. Why do you think there'll be a custody 'battle', the general case is 50/50, shared responsibility.

How much time you each spend with the child is 'visitation' and what money changes hands is 'maintenance'. They are completely different questions and separately negotiated (and if you cant reach a settlement will be decided by the court) regardless of custody.
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Old 06.06.2020, 00:38
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

Thanks everyone for the response. Sorry for the confusion.

Yes I am unmarried.

When I said that I have 50/50 custody, that's simply the paper that I signed in Stadthaus where I recognized my kid and established 50/50 parental responsibility (this is needed when you are not married in order to have rights on your baby).

>> Why do you think there'll be a custody 'battle', the general case is 50/50, shared responsibility.

The general case is 50/50 for legal custody, right? Physical custody is typically given to the mother and father gets simply visitation. Is this incorrect?

Also mom wants to move 45 km away which I object of course. Will she be allowed to do that? Is there any law defining the max radius that a parent who is awarded with primary physical custody, can move?
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Old 06.06.2020, 01:22
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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Thanks everyone for the response. Sorry for the confusion.

Yes I am unmarried.

When I said that I have 50/50 custody, that's simply the paper that I signed in Stadthaus where I recognized my kid and established 50/50 parental responsibility (this is needed when you are not married in order to have rights on your baby).

>> Why do you think there'll be a custody 'battle', the general case is 50/50, shared responsibility.

The general case is 50/50 for legal custody, right? Physical custody is typically given to the mother and father gets simply visitation. Is this incorrect?

Also mom wants to move 45 km away which I object of course. Will she be allowed to do that? Is there any law defining the max radius that a parent who is awarded with primary physical custody, can move?
Sorry, this made me laugh. And 45km is really no big distance.

However, she can not leave the country without your consent. Well, she can but not with the child.
The custody part is sorted. There is no law about how to organize the care (Betreuung) of the child. No, it's not automatically given to the mother. The parents must agree on that.

Do you speak German? There is some info here.

It seems essential to me, that you TALK with your partner. You will be tied to each other via the child for at least the next 18 years. It is in your but mostly in your child's interest, that you two get along and are able to sort out problems and reach decisions/agreements. Being a role model starts right here and now.

If I were in you shoes, I would list how I would like things to be handled, ask my partner to do the same, then sit down and talk it through. Let differences sink in and talk again.
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Old 06.06.2020, 01:36
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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Also mom wants to move 45 km away which I object of course.
I really hope I misunderstood this, because starting a legal battle over 45 km....
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Old 06.06.2020, 07:35
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

I realize that 45 km sound little.
Practically, it means 1h20m of public transport one way from our current home, or 50-1h mins with the car with typical traffic.

I think this is significant enough. It adds enough "friction" to make it more difficult for me to visit my kid on a as frequent basis as possible. And the same holds true for the future when the kid will want to come visit me.

Not sure if the above clarifies, but I find it a pretty significant deal breaker.
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Old 06.06.2020, 07:43
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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I realize that 45 km sound little.
Practically, it means 1h20m of public transport one way from our current home, or 50-1h mins with the car with typical traffic.

I think this is significant enough. It adds enough "friction" to make it more difficult for me to visit my kid on a as frequent basis as possible. And the same holds true for the future when the kid will want to come visit me.

Not sure if the above clarifies, but I find it a pretty significant deal breaker.
Most likely you will not be able to stop your partner from moving. As others have said, she cannot leave the country with the kids but moving 45 km away is perfectly acceptable within Switzerland. Maybe your partner wants to move to a less expensive place, back to the roots etc?
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Old 06.06.2020, 08:09
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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I realize that 45 km sound little.
Practically, it means 1h20m of public transport one way from our current home, or 50-1h mins with the car with typical traffic.

I think this is significant enough. It adds enough "friction" to make it more difficult for me to visit my kid on a as frequent basis as possible. And the same holds true for the future when the kid will want to come visit me.

Not sure if the above clarifies, but I find it a pretty significant deal breaker.

It is the best for both parents and the child if there can be a good working relationship between the parents and bringing in a lawyer over a very trifling 45km is not the way to build that relationship. If something as trivial as a 45km distance is a significant deal breaker, how unreasonable are you going to be over every other minor issue in the future, causing a contentious relationship which will, eventually harm the child's well-being. Sounds like it is the mother that will need the good lawyer.

You don't give all the facts such as why the mother wishes to move the short distance. Perhaps she has family and it is the best for both her and your child if she is closer to that family support? You mention your current shared home. Is it rented or owned? Do you intend that either of you will continue to live in that home or both find alternate accommodation? Perhaps it is cheaper for her to move somewhere especially if you are also going to fight her over the financial support. If she does move and the very short journey is too much for you, then you could also move closer, no?

Last edited by Mr Dog; 06.06.2020 at 08:25.
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Old 06.06.2020, 09:46
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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Also mom wants to move 45 km away which I object of course. Will she be allowed to do that?
Yes, unless it's to another country.

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Is there any law defining the max radius that a parent who is awarded with primary physical custody, can move?
Yes, the national border.

Tom
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Old 06.06.2020, 09:50
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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I realize that 45 km sound little.
Practically, it means 1h20m of public transport one way from our current home, or 50-1h mins with the car with typical traffic.

I think this is significant enough. It adds enough "friction" to make it more difficult for me to visit my kid on a as frequent basis as possible. And the same holds true for the future when the kid will want to come visit me.

Not sure if the above clarifies, but I find it a pretty significant deal breaker.
A deal breaker. Hmmm. So if she doesn't agree, the deal is off and she has to stay within the relationship?
<<visit my kid on a as frequent basis as possible>> you plan to walk in and out your partners flat/life as frequently as you please? That might be the reason she wants to put some distance between you.

Look, I get it, you're worried. But you did so well last year when you had the custody-subject settled officially (your other thread), you're well set.

Anyway, you asked for lawyers, not to discuss your private life in details on internet. As I said, I would try that address I linked further up first, before gearing up for a battle.
All the best.
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Old 06.06.2020, 12:05
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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I think this is significant enough. It adds enough "friction" to make it more difficult for me to visit my kid on a as frequent basis as possible. And the same holds true for the future when the kid will want to come visit me.
It is not even remotely significant to the rest of the world. If you continue along Ďthis path you are going to achieve two things:

- You will cause a further deterioration in the relationship with the childís mother, which will make life more difficult for the child.

- You will present yourself to the courts as someone who engages in vexatious litigation and that never goes down well.

You need to decide the kind of relationship you want with you want with your child. I can promise you that it will not go well if every interaction with you results in conflict between the child and itís mother. You child is about 15 years away from being mature enough to understand your side of the story. Donít expect this to go well if you continue along these lines.
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Old 06.06.2020, 22:43
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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The general case is 50/50 for legal custody, right?
Yes, that's the norm in Switzerland, and it has nothing to do with whether or not the parents were married at the time of the birth.

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Physical custody is typically given to the mother and father gets simply visitation. Is this incorrect?
Yes, this is incorrect.

Swiss law distinguishes between parental authority (in German Sorgerecht) and the residence of the child and who cares for the child (in German Obhut).

Sorgerecht 50/50 is the norm.
Obhut 50/50 is becoming increasingly the norm - though not altogether yet.

The decisions are always made - and this was a big shift in the Swiss laws, some years ago - in the child's best interests, and it is considered to be in the best interests, and even a child's right, to be able to freely have a relationship with both parents. This is done irrespective of the marital status of the parents and, increasingly, irrespective of the gender of the parents.

As far as is possible, the parents arrange, peaceably, between themselves, how and when the child will move between the parents. For example, some parents split the week into the child living with one parent for Saturday evening or Sunday evening until Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday morning, and then living with the other parent Wednesday afternoon till Saturday or Sunday evening. If a child lives more or less half the time with one and half the time with the other parent, then the school holidays are typically also split half-half.

In order to make this possible, many parents, both male and female, work part-time so that they can spend the rest of the time caring for their children. Some children do, indeed, live only with their mothers, but some only with their fathers.

Some people juggle their working hours by starting early or finishing late, while the other parent is doing the opposite. Some are fortunate enough to have employers who allow them to put in extra hours on fewer days of the week. Others find ways to be fully employed for a few weeks or months, so that they can thereafter have a block of time completely of work. Some manage to cover the gaps by paying for a babysitter or other child-care for some of the hours per week. Here's an example of parents having come to an arrangement that works for them both, and the child:
https://www.englishforum.ch/3035901-post49.html
Of course, such things change as the child grows and has different needs, and the parents' jobs change, and... just... life.

Yet others do a part of their work at night after the children have gone to sleep. Of course, this is not easily possible with newborns up to toddlers, when the parents typically just pass out from exhaustion, themselves, once Baby finally nods off, but this experience, too, can be shared/alternated between the parents. The exact arrangements may depend on breastfeeding.

The Court's or KESB's role is, ideally, only to formalise the reasonable arrangements that the parents have managed to make, by themselves. If no agreement can be reached then, yes, the Court will decree what is to happen.
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Old 07.06.2020, 12:19
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

My impression of the Swiss legal system is that if fathers want equal access to their children, they need to put in equal work from the start. If you have not, I suggest moving to where she wants to move so that you can actually have equal time with your child. I only know of one father that was willing to do this and he has 50/50 time with his children. He changed his work schedule and reduced his hours in order to do this. They both have time with the kids and time away from the children. Since they're sharing custody 50/50 and make about the same, there's no child support payments involved. I know this is exceedingly rare, but they both put in the work. They both get a social life and time with their kids. They also live less than a km away from each other.
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Old 07.06.2020, 12:26
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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My impression of the Swiss legal system is that if fathers want equal access to their children, they need to put in equal work from the start. If you have not, I suggest moving to where she wants to move so that you can actually have equal time with your child. I only know of one father that was willing to do this and he has 50/50 time with his children. He changed his work schedule and reduced his hours in order to do this. They both have time with the kids and time away from the children. Since they're sharing custody 50/50 and make about the same, there's no child support payments involved. I know this is exceedingly rare, but they both put in the work. They both get a social life and time with their kids. They also live less than a km away from each other.

Thanks for this example of how reasonable adults putting the welfare of their children first can make a situation work for the benefit of everyone. From what he has posted, OP would do well to take on board the comments here and rethink his attitude
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Old 07.06.2020, 13:04
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

Legally there is nothing you can do to stop the primary care giver from moving within the country. Many women move away in order to make life difficult for the father and visitation harder, and the modern "you go girl" feminist mindset encourages many women to put their happiness ahead of what is best for the child (which is having easy access to both parents with as little disruption to daily routines as is possible). Your best approach is to show the mother of your child the scientific data that shows that young kids do best when dad lives as close as possible to the child. Perhaps put aside your egos and come to a middle ground where your ex moves to a town that has easier public transport access and would make any journey under 1 hour. I don't see any reason why you should have to fully accommodate your ex's desire to move to wherever she wants but a solution that creates a win-win might get her to come around. Show her the below article and have a serious chat about what works for both of you.

https://www.mydomaine.com/keep-close...0has%20custody.
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Old 07.06.2020, 13:20
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

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Legally there is nothing you can do to stop the primary care giver from moving within the country. Many women move away in order to make life difficult for the father and visitation harder, and the modern "you go girl" feminist mindset encourages many women to put their happiness ahead of what is best for the child (which is having easy access to both parents with as little disruption to daily routines as is possible). Your best approach is to show the mother of your child the scientific data that shows that young kids do best when dad lives as close as possible to the child. Perhaps put aside your egos and come to a middle ground where your ex moves to a town that has easier public transport access and would make any journey under 1 hour. I don't see any reason why you should have to fully accommodate your ex's desire to move to wherever she wants but a solution that creates a win-win might get her to come around. Show her the below article and have a serious chat about what works for both of you.

https://www.mydomaine.com/keep-close...0has%20custody.

And this USA study from 2003 with such a large sample size of 602 participants states and I quote "children of divorced parents are best off when parents are both living close to home (defined in the study as less than an hour's drive)," If you look at OP's post he says that it would take him 50 minutes to an hour to drive 45km with typical traffic thus showing her this supposed "scientific" study would only help the mother's case that she is not being unreasonable (or feminist) by wanting to move less than 1 hour drive away.

Last edited by Mr Dog; 07.06.2020 at 13:32.
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Old 07.06.2020, 13:24
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Re: Any good family lawyer for defending fathers in child custody matter?

Apart from that, we have no idea why she wants to move. Maybe to be closer to her parents who can help her with the kid? Maybe she wants to be closer to her work? So far we do not know why.
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