The Changing Concept of ‘Family’ and Challenges for Domestic Family Law
Edited by Jens M. Scherpe
Chapter 15: The changing concept of ‘family’ and challenges for family law in Switzerland
In Switzerland family law is regulated in the Swiss Civil Code which came into force in 1912. This was the first uniform federal codification. It remained almost untouched for 60 years. Since the 1970s, however, Swiss family law has been amended and reformed step by step. The first step was the rules on adoption of children in 1973, followed by the general rules on the law of children in 1978 and the rules on the law of marriages in 1988. The new rules on divorce law entered into force in 2000, and have since been revised twice. Major changes relating to registered partnership for same-sex couples as well as to domestic violence were enacted in 2007. Family law proceedings have been addressed by the Swiss Code of Civil Procedure which came into force in 2011. The law on protection of adults as well as the law relating to names and citizenship have been revised as of 2013. Most recently, the new law on parental responsibility entered into force on 1 July 2014 and the revision of child support as well as of pension splitting have been adopted. Important legal changes relating to family law are still pending or must still be addressed in the future. Before turning to the legal regulation of the family, some factual background is required. As in most Western industrialised societies Switzerland has seen major socio-demographic changes during the last decades.
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