Divorce abroad

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)

The divorce of a Swiss citizen has to be registered with the Swiss authorities. Therefore please forward a divorce certificate *(assento de divórcio e separação de pessoas) issued by the “Conservatória do Registo Civil“ where the divorce took place

The woman keeps her surname after the divorce. If she prefers, she may take back the surname she had before the marriage. Please take note of the following document for more information Factsheet on married names (de) (PDF, 4 Pages, 60.1 kB)

* the document cannot be older than six months and must be first legalized by the Ministry of Justice (Ministério da Justiça, Direcção dos Registos e Notariado) and then by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Maputo (Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros e Cooperação – MINEC).

Divorce in Switzerland

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 (as hard copy or in electronic form) so that the register of the Swiss abroad can be updated:

  • photocopy of the divorce decree with the date on which it takes effect
  • photocopy of the 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

There is no fee for the registration in question.