Divorce and Separation

Sometimes, separation is inevitable but still, one can look for common solutions for the time that follows.

Compulsory Counselling

With the aim of better securing the interests of children affected by separation / divorce of their parents, prior to issuing an application for divorce based on consensus for the court, the parents are obliged to see a qualified counsellor or accredited counselling office for advice on the impact of the family split up on the child.


If parents fail to reach an  agreement in matters of separation or divorce, the division of property, custody, maintenance or visitation rights concerning a common child, family mediation supported by the Federal Chancellery Division Families and Youth may help.

The mediation process involves two mediators, one of them with training in a psycho-social field (social worker, therapist...) and the other with legal training (attorney-at-law, judge...). In addition to their professional training, they have completed special training in mediation.

Mediation has to be paid for but the fee is set in a socially equitable way and scaled according to the family income and the number of children entitled to maintenance if the services of  mediators from the Federal Chancellery's list of accredited mediators are made use of.

Accompanying Parents and Children Through Divorce and Separation

For children, the separation or divorce of their parents usually causes feelings of loss and anxiety, the familiar environment they grew up in and their balanced relations with each parent disappear, they feel helpless, alone and misunderstood. For the parents who are engrossed in the divorce or separation it is often difficult to identify the suffering of their children because they are trapped in their own pain, aggression and disappointment.

The Federal Chancellery Division Families and Youth subsidises non profit organisations offering therapeutic and educational children’s groups or one-on-one work with children, as well as counselling to couples, individuals or individual parents.