Separation from a partner is an excruciating process. Studies have shown that the process of detachment is comparable to the death of a partner or family member. Your mental state will not always be good. You will be emotional and make spontaneous (and not always the best) decisions. In this situation, the best decision is to seek legal advice. You need to know what to expect, and you should be able to put legal matters in the hands of a non-emotional professional who will look after your interests. If you want to separate and don’t know what your rights and obligations are, what will happen financially, what will happen to the children, etc., or if your partner confronts you with the separation, take your time, get advice before making long-term decisions, signing agreements, etc. Call me.
Divorce/dissolution of registered partnerships
Civil unions today do not necessarily last a lifetime. Divorce, which was a social stigma just a few decades ago, is now considered almost normal.
However, the end of a marriage or partnership does not always mean ending any relationship with the former partner/spouse. Joint children or jointly created assets are long, sometimes lifelong ties on a different level than the romantic partner level. To part and disentangle yourself economically with respect and decency, is a great achievement because the common past, with all its injuries and beautiful memories, always unbalance your inner scales. I support you in carrying out your divorce or dissolution of your partnership in a fair, constructive, and future-oriented way. In doing so, I see it as my very first task to advise you comprehensively about the various options that all lead to the goal of “divorce/dissolution of registered partnership” and to find together with you the path that suits you and the family system affected by the divorce best and that best protects your personal and financial resources. The aim is for your conflict to be resolved sustainably, whether I am assisting you as a counselling or court-appointed lawyer, supporting you as a collaborative lawyer, or am available to you and your partner/spouse as a mediator.
Since the introduction of the new child maintenance law in 2017, much has changed in case law and practice. The principle remains that illegitimate children should be “treated” the same as legitimate children. In principle, a mother is to be enabled to care for her young child herself, whether or not she was married to the child’s father. This part of the child maintenance is the so-called care maintenance, which is owed in addition to the child’s cash maintenance of the child. The caring parent is expected much more strictly than in the past to expand his or her professional activities, depending on the youngest child’s age. With the “school step model”, the Federal Supreme Court has determined that, in principle, 50% gainful employment must be taken up when the child begins compulsory schooling (i.e. as early as kindergarten), which must be increased to an 80% workload when the child enters the upper school and to a full workload from the youngest child’s 16th birthday. However, the Federal Supreme Court explicitly stated that each case must still be considered and assessed in detail. There are, therefore, still exceptions to the “school step” rule.
Knowing the principles that apply in the Canton of Zurich, I can provide you with guidance and support in finding appropriate solutions, e.g. if you and your partner wish to establish child maintenance in a maintenance agreement.
Marriage and partnership contracts
It may be unromantic for one or the other. However, as a lawyer, I recommend that you use the possibility of marriage and partnership contracts. Difficult issues can be settled much more easily if you understand each other well. Besides, dealing substantively with personally unpleasant but necessary issues that do not fit the “cloud nine” feeling of a fresh relationship or marriage actually offers to strengthen the partnership. Seek advice as to whether, in your case, the conclusion of a marriage or partnership contract makes sense or is perhaps even advisable. Think together about what you have in mind and come for a consultation. In many cases, basic legal information is enough to prevent uncertainties or fears or enable you to approach a specific issue with a clear view and solve it together.
Nothing is regulated by law as little as non-marital cohabitation. When dissolving such a community, you can get much different information from different lawyers. The law of simple partnership, labour law, contract law, sometimes even marriage law by analogy is consulted. Depending on which legal provisions are consulted, a completely different result emerges. And a judicial liquidation usually leads to very unsatisfactory results.
If you, as a non-married or non-partnered couple, create larger joint assets, e.g. buy a property or set up a joint business, etc., if you have joint children and are concerned about the security of your partner, then you should seek advice on the contractual regulation options.
I am happy to offer you my support in conflicts in binational marriages and partnerships and cross-border matters: as a counselling lawyer, as a mediator, as a collaborative lawyer.
I can also conduct out-of-court cross-border cases (the spouses/partners/parents live in different countries) with foreign lawyer colleagues. I have a broad network of lawyers in Europe and North America (the USA and Canada).
I can conduct consultations and negotiations in English.