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Birth, marriage, death


Brides and grooms.
Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone

People over the age of 18 are entitled to get married in Switzerland. This includes same-sex couples.

In order to get married in Switzerland, the future spouses must submit an official request to the civil registry office and meet certain conditions. They must be:

– at least 18 years of age;

– capable of discernment;

– not already married or in a registered partnership;

– not closely related.

Since July 1, 2022, same-sex couples have the right to marry in Switzerland under the same conditions as opposite-sex couples. The new legislation also allows them to adopt a child and to gain access to medically assisted procreation.


Depending on the country of origin of the future spouses, a visa may be required for entry into Switzerland for the purpose of marriage. If both the bride and groom are foreign nationals and are not domiciled in Switzerland, they may get married there only with permission from the cantonal supervisory authority.

A marriage validly celebrated abroad is generally recognised in Switzerland, unless it is manifestly contrary to public order or fraudulent (e.g. polygamous marriages, forced marriages or marriages with minors).

After obtaining permission from the civil registry office, the couple have three months to celebrate their union in the place of their choice. The ceremony must take place in the presence of a civil registrar and two adult witnesses who are capable of discernment. After the civil wedding, the couple may also hold a religious wedding.

Una coppia di sposi cinesi in mezzo alla neve.


How to marry like a Swiss commoner

This content was published on How does a typical Swiss couple get married? We’ve created a handy guide on how to tie the knot in Switzerland.

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The total number of marriages has remained relatively stable since the 1980s. However, the proportion of marriages including at least one non-Swiss citizen has increased and now represents 50% of all unions.


One or both spouses may apply for a divorce to the competent court in the canton of residence. The conditions and length of the proceedings vary if one party refuses to divorce.


A divorce can be long and expensive and can have far-reaching consequences for the whole family. The court must decide, in particular, on custody of the children, the division of property, the amount of the maintenance contribution, and whether or not foreigners should retain their right of residence.

The divorce rate in Switzerland has more than doubled since the 1960s. It has stabilised today at around two divorces per 1,000 inhabitants.

For more information on marriage and divorce in Switzerland see:

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR