Child custody in Switzerland

From July 1st 2014 the legal standard in Switzerland is joint legal custody of children following divorce of the parents. Parents who live together but are not married can also declare that they desire joint legal custody of their children. Joint legal custody means that both mother and father have responsibility for the child’s upbringing and development. They decide together about education and care (also medical care) etc. If they are unable to decide together, neither party has a casting vote but they can ask the child protection authority to mediate. For daily questions and urgent matters, the parent who has physical custody of the child can decide alone. Exceptions to joint legal custody are now only allowed if the child’s welfare is at risk.

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