Divorce in Switzeraland from USA

Hi All,

I am having some stressful and I believe serious issues in my marriage which seem to be getting worse in time. We are both non EU and the marriage has just passed the first year and was registered in Switzerland (Canton Zurich) where we also signed a prenup to protect mainly my past assets. We have no children together but one child each from previous marriages and no major joint assets. She does not work. I have a C permit and she is on a one year B permit. I am trying to get her see a family therapist/psychologist but not sure if things will change significantly.

In the meantime my company is transferring me to our US office on a work visa which will be converted to green cards in I guess couple of years. I am concerned that our relationship is already pretty fragile and things may turn bad in the US. My questions is, is it possible to apply for a Swiss divorce from the US. What are the pros and cons compared to the US in terms of alimony (considering it is only a short marriage of 1-2 years) and court procedures costs etc? Also what if she does not agree to divorce? I hear there is a 2 year separation rule in Switzerland which probably does not exist in the US (MN).

You can normally get divorced in the country you are living in (USA in this case).

I understand, but I sense in the US divorce I may incur heavy alimony costs?

I believe there are some organizations here that give advice regarding expat divorces and can offer assistance. Here is one website with some info that might be of help:


“Legal Expat is managed by lawyers registered at the Geneva Bar and immigration specialists.”

You can contact them through there as well. There are also other websites and organizations here if you do a Google search for “expat divorce Switzerland.”

To be honest, unless your wife is American, it would seem that the decent thing to do would be to divorce here rather than waiting until she is potentially trapped in the US. And if this is someone that you once loved enough to marry, then you should offer some care for her well-being after the marriage is over.

Whatever happens… I hope things go smoothly for the both of you.