What Should You Consider before Walking down the Aisle?

What Should You Consider before Walking down the Aisle?

Separation is never easy, and it is harder when there are children involved, regardless if you were bound by marriage to your child’s mother or father. Remo Gilomen is an attorney from Switzerland, who speaks on changes he would like to see regarding alimony, and considerations to make before you take your vows.


What do you think are important measures to consider prior to marriage, to ensure if a divorce was to happen, that you are best prepared?

Well, there are things that you can’t control (custody, alimony) and then there is stuff you can control. In case there are a lot of assets and fortunes involved, I would advise you to establish your marriage with a marriage contract. In this contract, you can define what belongs to you and what belongs to your partner and maybe that this is going to be like that for the future. You cannot fix years before where your kids should be living and how much you would be paying if you’re undergoing divorce. You can’t arrange your retirement provisions if you don’t do that on an optional basis. This is mostly given by the law; so being prepared for the things you can plan, is vital.


How have laws regarding alimony changed over the years in Switzerland?

Since January 2017, kids from married parents are equal to kids from unmarried parents. Previously, children that were from an unmarried couple often had some big disadvantages to get on with; for example, a smaller amount of alimony which did not include the custody time of the parent in charge. This had a big impact on the main responsible parent for support. They not only had to financially support the child, but they also had to pay the other parent’s custody time for the next 5-10 years, or longer. It wouldn’t matter if the child was the outcome of a one-night stand or from long-term partnership of 10 years or more.


Given the law cases you see regarding families with international background, what factors should be considered when living in Switzerland?

You should be aware that if you have kids here, in case you separate or divorced, you can’t just go back to your country with your kids without the permission of the other parent or the decision of the guardianship authorities of your community. They must ensure it is in the best interest of your child to move to your country without having the father/mother having around regularly. Couples with foreign law issues should consider consequences regarding permission of residence before undergoing separation/divorce procedures.


Are there any legislative changes you would like to see regarding alimony?

I think Switzerland ought to open up our rules slightly. Even though some legislations have good intentions in mind, I think some are outdated. For example, I think that every woman should work at least part time after a few years of being a housewife. If everything goes well, then the option is there for women to have that choice; at the moment, the primary caregiver who has stopped working to look after their child, is paid maintenance until their child is 10. In my opinion, the law should be more open to allowing the primary caregiver to return to work to lessen financial pressure. But there is also the need that society enables people to work on a basis from 20-60%, which is not the case in every branch.


Remo Gilomen


Thunstrasse 20

Postfach 206

3000 Bern 6

Tel      031 381 25 71

Fax     031 381 25 21



My name is Remo Gilomen, I am an attorney at law practicing primarily family law in Berne, Switzerland. I am the partner of small law firm in the city of Switzerland’s capital, helping people to undergo family law procedures in any kind.


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