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Old 07.01.2020, 18:02
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Divorce from abroad to a person not found

A friend of mine got married to someone who shortly after ended the relationship and went missing ish. She hears he is fine and may even have filed for divorce here in Switzerland. She now lives abroad and would very much like to get divorced but he doesn't reply to her requests. She has contacted the canton they were married in and tried to find out what she can do.

Does anyone have an idea about this? I'm concerned about her and looking for helpful advice. She is young and a student, and speaks very little German.
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Old 09.01.2020, 11:10
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

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A friend of mine got married to someone who shortly after ended the relationship and went missing ish. She hears he is fine and may even have filed for divorce here in Switzerland. She now lives abroad and would very much like to get divorced but he doesn't reply to her requests. She has contacted the canton they were married in and tried to find out what she can do.

Does anyone have an idea about this? I'm concerned about her and looking for helpful advice. She is young and a student, and speaks very little German.
Once they are separated for two years (which is easily provable if she lives abroad) she can file for divorce at court and will be divorced no matter whether he agrees or not.
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Old 09.01.2020, 16:57
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

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Once they are separated for two years (which is easily provable if she lives abroad) she can file for divorce at court and will be divorced no matter whether he agrees or not.

True, but if he can't be found or doesn't want to be involved in the process, it can take a very long time with all the grace periods he will be given to respond to paperwork. And it's difficult to serve paperwork if you have no idea of his address. Thankfully I knew where my ex worked and the paperwork was served at his office address.
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Old 09.01.2020, 16:59
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

Is the husband Swiss?
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Old 09.01.2020, 17:11
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

If it's been 7 years she could have him declared dead. That should get things moving.
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Old 12.01.2020, 10:51
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

Thank you all very much. I'm sorry for the long delay in answering. Sick kids, etc!
He is also foreign but still lives here. She is afraid she will pay all fees if she files, and she has no money, not does she qualify for assistance as she isn't a resident of Switzerland.
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Old 12.01.2020, 13:12
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

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Thank you all very much. I'm sorry for the long delay in answering. Sick kids, etc!
He is also foreign but still lives here. She is afraid she will pay all fees if she files, and she has no money, not does she qualify for assistance as she isn't a resident of Switzerland.
She has to file for divorce where she lives, not in Switzerland!

Tom
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Old 12.01.2020, 19:39
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

She seems to think he may have filed for divorce. And she wants to get divorced. So at least that's tge same direction.

It would seem to me that one step could be to make enquiries of the relevant Courts, to find out whether, in fact, he has initiated the proceedings.

To do that, she should write in the local Swiss language, on paper, in an envelope, including a certified copy of her identity documents, proof of residence where she now lives, a copy if the Swiss permit she used to have and of her marriage certificate, and a list of addresses in Switzerland at which they lived together or at which he may possibly live or work.

It may be that she'll have to do this at each Court individually, starting with the most likely (where she thinks he might live).


If she lives in a country where the postal service is unreliable, she could courier a set of 10 such.letters with annexures to a trusted person in Switzerland, to post them for her, here. That person could also act as a c/o address for receiving replies from the Courts.

Alternatively, she could ask the Swiss representative in her current country of residence what the proper procedure is, from there.
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Old 12.01.2020, 21:39
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

I've passed her the information (thanks!) and she tried two Swiss courts already that have told her he hasn't filed. Now she will try to get his address and file from her residence based on the posts received on EF. She was really thankful
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Old 13.01.2020, 16:55
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

I still think it might be worth her while asking for advice from the Swiss government representative in her country of residence. If they see her documents, they may conclude that she has a valid reason to know his formal whereabouts in Switzerland, so as to know to which Court to address the enquiry if whether there is a divorce proceeding against her, or to be able to open one from where she is.

The general principle of data protection in Switzerland is that it can sometimes be waived for a person who or government department which can demonstrate a reasonable interest.
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Old 15.01.2020, 20:26
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

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I still think it might be worth her while asking for advice from the Swiss government representative in her country of residence. If they see her documents, they may conclude that she has a valid reason to know his formal whereabouts in Switzerland, so as to know to which Court to address the enquiry if whether there is a divorce proceeding against her, or to be able to open one from where she is.

The general principle of data protection in Switzerland is that it can sometimes be waived for a person who or government department which can demonstrate a reasonable interest.
Thank you, I've passed it on.
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Old 15.01.2020, 22:04
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Re: Divorce from abroad to a person not found

as you are aware, all residents in Switzerland must be registered at their local town hall. So it's not difficult to track him down if someone does this officially. As others have said, contacting the consulate general in the country where the woman lives, is definitely possible.


And it may be in her interest to lodge a divorce in her home country, if the law is different. If he has failed to serve her papers, and she can prove this - ie. he knows where she lives... then it may be that the Swiss court is ignored.



The Swiss law is pretty clear about separation of assets and he may have discovered that it's not actually 'in his interest' to do it in Switzerland... if he has pension fund etc accumulated during the marriage, and she does not, then quite likely she is entitled to some money...
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