Foreign decisions on divorce or legal separation are normally recognised in Switzerland when handed down in the country of domicile or of habitual residence, or the state of nationality of one of the spouses, or if recognised in one of these countries (Federal Act on Private International Law (SR 291)).

Federal Act on Private International Law (SR 291) (de, fr, it)

To register a divorce pronounced abroad in the Swiss civil status register (Infostar), the originals of the following documents must be as a rule submitted to the Swiss representation with any necessary legalisation for forwarding to Switzerland:

  • divorce decree with the date on which it takes effect
  • decision concerning the parental authority of any children of the couple with the date when it takes effect
  • where applicable, changes of address of the divorced couple

These documents are intended to the competent civil status authority and will not be returned.

In the case of a divorce pronounced in Switzerland, persons registered with a Swiss representation abroad are under an obligation to report the change of civil status. This requires submitting the following documents so that the register of the Swiss abroad can be updated:

  • Original of the divorce decree with the date on which it takes effect
  • Original of full marriage certificate mentioning the dissolution of marriage (in English)

Please note:

All certificates of civil status issued in Malta habe to be provided with an Apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Valletta.

All documents cannot be older than six months.

All original documents (photocopies cannot be accepted)

Most of the certificates of civil status can be ordered online under the link of the Ministry for home affairs, pulic registry:

Certificates of civil status