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Old 14.01.2018, 03:14
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surnames in Switzerland

Do women in Switzerland usually keep their surname or change it to husband's surname after marriage?
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Old 14.01.2018, 03:30
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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Do women in Switzerland usually keep their surname or change it to husband's surname after marriage?
Traditionally, the husband's name was often added to the maiden name. Frau Müller marrying Herr Meier often became Frau Müller Meier

By law, you could combine the names (relatively) freely, using a dash as well (Frau Müller-Meier). For reasons unknown to me (and apparently, many politicians want to reverse it) they changed the law in 2013, so that you can only pick EITHER name.

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

Funny, I wrote the name example BEFORE visiting the website. They used the same example name, just other way round
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Old 14.01.2018, 03:49
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

Thanks! This is helpful.
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Old 14.01.2018, 04:24
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

Traditionally they would change it, but nowadays not so much. Marriages happen later and women have careers with their surnames so changing it is a hindrance (also considering the rate of divorce). There are also a lot of families with unmarried parents or other situations so schools etc. are also used to this.
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Old 14.01.2018, 20:12
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

Default is that either of the fiancées keep their own family names.

You can choose a family name, this one is the one future or already born children would bear. Either of the fiancées can decide if he or she would take the partners name. You can change the family name during a couple of years. If you change the family name if a child is already 12 years old, the child has a say in this matter.

Names with a liaison, like "Herr Meier-Müller" can be used in everyday life, but are not used in official communication and are not legally registered anymore.

I kept my name and my husband kept his, we did the default.
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Old 14.01.2018, 20:41
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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Traditionally, the husband's name was often added to the maiden name. Frau Müller marrying Herr Meier often became Frau Müller Meier

By law, you could combine the names (relatively) freely, using a dash as well (Frau Müller-Meier). For reasons unknown to me (and apparently, many politicians want to reverse it) they changed the law in 2013, so that you can only pick EITHER name.

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

Funny, I wrote the name example BEFORE visiting the website. They used the same example name, just other way round
That is not quite correct. Traditionally Mrs. Müller would take Mr. Meier's name. She would then be Mrs. Meier or if she liked Mrs. Müller-Meier (according to her mood, change that daily as the -Meier would not be official, just a .... specification? )

Then it was possible for the woman to put her name first (like you said), which would make her Mrs. Müller Meier. (note: No - (minus) here!).
When I got married it was also possible to be Mrs. Müller-Meier as one name (says so in my passport now). I drive people MAD with insisting on it when written as you can't do that anymore (they changed that again) so I'm a bit unique. It was only possible for a short time.
Of course it is also possible to keep maiden name
And it all works both ways = the husband can take the wife's name in all versions above, except my version I guess. Mr. Meier-Müller should not be possible anymore (fair is fair, right?).
The trick here is the - (minus), seems they made the minus-version illegal

And - from an experience stand-point - I wish I had just kept my original name .

All clear?
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Old 14.01.2018, 20:57
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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And - from an experience stand-point - I wish I had just kept my original name .

All clear?
You can easily change it back (the law changed about 3 years ago), whether you are divorced or not :

https://www.ch.ch/en/name-changes-after-divorce/

https://www.law-news.ch/2012/11/dopp...namen-annehmen


Took me a visit to the Townhall Zürich, and it was done within about 30 mins.
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:06
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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You can easily change it back (the law changed about 3 years ago), whether you are divorced or not :

https://www.ch.ch/en/name-changes-after-divorce/

Took me a visit to the Townhall Zürich, and it was done within about 30 mins.
I know. If you do it within a certain time-limit it's even free, is it?
After that it costs money and I'm seriously not into changing all the paper-work/passport/ID/bankstuff .... know what I mean? .... AGAIN and I'm known as Mrs. x-z for a very long time now.

Several of my friends refused to accept my new name consistently right from the start (they knew something I didn't ) but as my maiden-name is still part of my name I' still got/get my mail and parcels from them Also all job-references from before my marriage are no doubt mine. Etc. etc.
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:06
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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That is not quite correct. Traditionally Mrs. Müller would take Mr. Meier's name. She would then be Mrs. Meier or if she liked Mrs. Müller-Meier (according to her mood, change that daily as the -Meier would not be official, just a .... specification? )
Nope, Meier-Müller. (Man-Woman, the Woman part being optional)

Still works that way on stuff from the tax office.

Tom
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:08
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

Shame the hyphenated name isn't possible atm, this is the option we wanted but we both kept our own family names in the end. Perhaps it will change again
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:13
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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Nope, Meier-Müller. (Man-Woman, the Woman part being optional)

Still works that way on stuff from the tax office.

Tom
Right, sorry, sorry ..... too much Müller and Meier in my post
And I always had to be careful not to put my real names in it (which are nothing like Müller Meier) too. LOL.
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:24
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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Nope, Meier-Müller. (Man-Woman, the Woman part being optional)

Still works that way on stuff from the tax office.
Yup, same here. I went with the Swiss system at the time we got married, so my legal last name is his then mine, with a hyphen in the middle. My only regret is the hyphen because it's a pain with websites. Should have just gone with a space in between. I'm glad I was in under the old rules, because I wanted both names.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 14.01.2018 at 21:25. Reason: removed extra word
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:32
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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Shame the hyphenated name isn't possible atm, this is the option we wanted but we both kept our own family names in the end.
We were given that option, but my wife felt that my shorter and difficult to spell Irish surname was a much better choice than her longer and even more difficult to spell Polish surname, and forget about combining them!

Tom
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:45
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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Yup, same here. I went with the Swiss system at the time we got married, so my legal last name is his then mine, with a hyphen in the middle. My only regret is the hyphen because it's a pain with websites. Should have just gone with a space in between. I'm glad I was in under the old rules, because I wanted both names.
What pain with websites?

It took my bank 17 (seventeen) years (and a copy of my passport with stabilo-boss-highlightning of the relevant info on it) to put my name correctly into the system.
They always claimed it was too long. My question what they do with a client called Huggentobler, would they just rename him Huggent? was never, never answered
I should not have payed taxes in those years, after all, they were not my accounts, were they.
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Old 14.01.2018, 21:53
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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They always claimed it was too long.
I have several Italian friends with multi-name surnames, one 23 letters not counting spaces or hyphens!

Tom
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Old 14.01.2018, 22:19
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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What pain with websites?
I never know how my name will appear. Some sites take the hyphenation and don't change it. Others take it, but then mash the name together without a hyphen. Some don't take it and just use the first bit. Some will not take a hyphen but will allow a space. Many times what the site will accept as a name doesn't match what's on my credit card.

Airlines are even more fun. They run out of characters in the system and mash the names together without a hyphen. Nor are there enough characters for my first name to fit. When they page me for an upgrade it's along the lines of "Can passenger Muellerme An* please come to the podium?"

I have to listen carefully because it's never my actual name.

*Using Anastasia Mueller-Meier as an example. Not my real name or initials.
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Old 14.01.2018, 22:29
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

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I never know how my name will appear. Some sites take the hyphenation and don't change it. Others take it, but then mash the name together without a hyphen. Some don't take it and just use the first bit. Some will not take a hyphen but will allow a space. Many times what the site will accept as a name doesn't match what's on my credit card.

Airlines are even more fun. They run out of characters in the system and mash the names together without a hyphen. Nor are there enough characters for my first name to fit. When they page me for an upgrade it's along the lines of "Can passenger Muellerme An* please come to the podium?"

I have to listen carefully because it's never my actual name.

*Using Anastasia Mueller-Meier as an example. Not my real name or initials.
Interesting. Never had that problem, you must visit websites I don't

As to the upgrades, you probably only get them due to your conspicuous names, they all say "gotta see who that is, how do we excuse calling her out? Ahh, give her an upgrade Lucky you.
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Old 14.01.2018, 22:34
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

My wife took my surname... well she does when I've not annoyed her that day anyway.
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Old 15.01.2018, 11:02
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

A quick survey based on a totally non-representative sample shows that the current norm is that the husband takes the wife's name followed by both keep their own name.

Be aware of the following fact: If one of the partners does not reside in Switzerland and does not intend to move to Switzerland just after marriage, then for this person local naming rules may take precedence over Swiss ones.
BGER 116 II 202


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Names with a liaison, like "Herr Meier-Müller" can be used in everyday life, but are not used in official communication and are not legally registered anymore.
Liaison names can still be used in Passport and on ID cards.
Art. 2 Abs. 4 AwG https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi.../index.html#a2
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Old 15.01.2018, 15:21
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Re: surnames in Switzerland

This is from 2001...old news.

I've googled it for you: https://www.ch.ch/de/heiraten-namenswahl/

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