Divorced dads in Switzerland are now entitled to joint legal custody of their children. Previously, mothers were usually awarded sole custody.
The law, which took effect on July 1, also allows fathers to apply for custody retroactively if the divorce or separation had taken place within the past five years.
Experts estimate that as many as 10,000 fathers will now decide to apply for joint custody – having had to yield to the wishes of the mothers. As of today, couples that split up will automatically share legal custody of the children.
The change in the law means that both parents will have an equal say when it comes to making decisions about the children. However, it does not mean that both parents will share physical custody of their children.
Parliament had approved a government proposal in June last year, but implementation of the reform was delayed by several months amid concerns by the cantons over an expected flood of requests.