Moving to Switzerland: legal implications for civil partners registered abroad

19 JUL 2007

Dr Corinne Widmer, Attorney-at-Law, Lecturer at the Universities of Basel and St Gallen Switzerland. There are a lot of good reasons beyond cheese and chocolate for moving to Switzerland. Dr Corinne Widmer considers whether the new Swiss laws on civil partnerships could be additional inspiration for same sex couples thinking about relocating.

Since 1 January 2007 same sex couples in Switzerland have been able to formally register their union under the Swiss Federal Act on Registered Partnerships (RPA) and obtain a similar status to that of married couples. The RPA is closely modelled on marriage and registered partners have many of the same rights as married couples, with only a few differences. Registered partners may not adopt and cannot get access to medically assisted procreation. There are also differences relating to financial matters on dissolution of the union. On the same date, a substantial body of new rules were enacted governing the treatment in Switzerland of same sex partnerships registered abroad. In this article the new provisions are considered in detail, with a further analysis of property law provisions and the rules governing dissolution. The author suggests some steps that civil partners considering relocating might wish to take first. For the full article see June [2007] International Family Law.

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