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Old 21.04.2021, 13:24
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Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

Hey everyone,

I am a Swiss citizen living in New Zealand and have been a single parent since my son was 3 months old. He currently has my last name, is also a Swiss citizen (but born in New Zealand) and with his fathers last name as a second middle name. He is now 3,5 years old and his father would now like his surname changed to a double-barreled surname (both our names). I am against this.

The Judge in the Family Court here in New Zealand will now decide on our son's surname. I am reaching out to anyone who has been living in Switzerland with a double-barreled surname and would like to know how your experience has been, both on a personal level and also bureaucratic(administratively, or in important matters such as buying a house) and if your double-barreled surname has been officially recognised.

If I can show the Judge here what impact a double barreled surname would have on my son if he were to move to Switzerland, being able to show others' experiences I am sure would have a profound effect.

I would be eternally grateful for any insight, stories, experiences you can share with me, either your own or from those who you may know.

Thank you so much!
Janine
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Old 21.04.2021, 13:29
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

I have a tripie surname through marriage, two from hubby, one from myself (and that only because the country I married in and my home country do not agree on the use of last names when married).


Why would it have an impact on your son? Just technically speaking?


Just wondering if a name change by the NZ authorities will be accepted by the Swiss embassy though
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Old 21.04.2021, 13:32
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

I believe that until recently parents could request for their children to use the surnames of both parents until the children reached adulthood. Then the child had to decide for one or the other.

Nowadays I understand that this has changed and the parents need to make up their mind.

But I am sure others on this forum have a better understanding.
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Old 21.04.2021, 13:44
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

it's long been the case where married couples merge their names.

Depending on whether the man's name is first or second in the "surname", they traditionally will be joined with a hyphen or simply two "separate" surnames

So Fuchs Frei in one variant and Fuchs-Frei in the other.

To summarise, it's no issue and they can even cope with accents here.
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Old 21.04.2021, 14:00
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

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Just wondering if a name change by the NZ authorities will be accepted by the Swiss embassy though
It won't be, unless they are married.

Tom
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Old 21.04.2021, 14:01
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

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I believe that until recently parents could request for their children to use the surnames of both parents until the children reached adulthood. Then the child had to decide for one or the other.

Nowadays I understand that this has changed and the parents need to make up their mind.
Only if married, otherwise it is ALWAYS the mother's surname.

Tom
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Old 21.04.2021, 14:33
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

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To summarise, it's no issue and they can even cope with accents here.
Maybe only the diactrics that actually occur in the official languages of Switzerland?

Or any diactric character?
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Old 21.04.2021, 16:41
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

It is my understanding that double-barrelled surnames were abolished as a possible option for an official name back in 2013. You can choose a so-called "alliance name" but this is not the official name; because of long-standing precedence of people using double-barrelled surnames (e.g. Karin Keller-Sutter), you can ask to have this name put on your passport/ID.

You may find more information here.
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Old 21.04.2021, 16:47
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

https://www.ch.ch/en/married-name/

https://www.ch.ch/en/surname-child/

I would say that since your child has your surname, that's all the Swiss would allow it to be since that's what you both decided when the child was born.
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Old 21.04.2021, 16:51
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

I saw something on here where a US person changed their name on US passport, but Swiss wouldnt accept name change for permit. So maybe thats the way to go - find out if Swiss would recognise a name change.
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Old 21.04.2021, 16:52
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

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Only if married, otherwise it is ALWAYS the mother's surname.

Tom
No it's not, it's a choice, one or the other. See Medea's 2nd link.
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Old 21.04.2021, 17:02
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

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Maybe only the diactrics that actually occur in the official languages of Switzerland?

Or any diactric character?
Diactritics. Sorry, a force of habit. Četina is full of'em.
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Old 21.04.2021, 17:18
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

I know people, who have different names on different passports. Like their mother's last name on one and their father's on the other (out of divorce of their parents and such). Seems to be no issue for them living in CH.
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Old 21.04.2021, 17:21
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

I have the "nom d'alliance" meaning First Name, Husband SurName-Unmarried Surname.

The unmarried surname is on my passport BUT NOT on any official documents (for example a certificate of residency) as it is NOT a legal name.

Funnily enough, when I moved to Singapore, because my passport is like that they took the full name as legal name, so had to use it.

Not really any nuisance, just need to remember when booking a flight etc. For most things it does not really matter.

K
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Old 21.04.2021, 17:25
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

If you were married in Switzerland today, you would not be permitted to combine your names. Your children wouldn't be given a double-barrelled name because neither of the married parents would have one.

What happened before 2013 is irrelevant. (unless you were married in Switzerland before then).

I would simply tell the NZ court that Switzerland no longer permits double-barrelled names. Children are named after their married parents, or their mother if not married. As proof just give the links provided by MF above.
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Old 21.04.2021, 20:55
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

My sons birth 18 months ago was registered with a hyphenated surname.

It was a bit of burocracy at the registry office to explain what we needed.

Once done, no problems as a result.

Its a reasonable request from either parent that their children can carry their name.
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Old 21.04.2021, 21:00
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

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No it's not, it's a choice, one or the other. See Medea's 2nd link.
Today, yes, years ago, no.

In short, it all depends on the year they were born, and nothing else.

And, no, it's NOT retroactive.

Tom
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Old 21.04.2021, 21:43
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

If I could go back in time, I'd skip the hyphen and have two last names separated by a space. I regularly have problems with online bookings. Some sites accept the hyphen, but most don't. Even then, some sites separate into two words and some mash it all together. Getting important information with the correct, legal name can be a challenge.
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Old 21.04.2021, 21:58
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

Firstly, I assume he (the father) is on the birth certificate.Secondly, I assume you were not married when your son was born
Thirdly, I assume he's acknowledge paternity
Fourthly, i assume you have main custody and this is about the father trying assert some sort of power.

Or, do you have joint custody/parental authority ?


The link on swiss law for birth surnames is here:

https://www.ch.ch/en/surname-child/


Key question here is whether you were married, or if you were never married, whether parental authority is joint or only one parent.



And an underlying question is why your surname was given at birth/on the official documents...


As for the 'practicality' of double-barrelled surnames.... well, it depends on the surname... but I think this is not about practicality, but a very deep question of identity and paternity/maternity.
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Old 21.04.2021, 21:59
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Re: Living in Switzerland with a double-barrelled surname

You may also want to read this:


https://www.ch.ch/en/parental-author...rried-parents/
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