Swiss canton creates project to protect children as parents divorce

Swiss canton creates project to protect children as parents divorce

A municipality in Canton Vaud is set to start trialling a project aimed at protecting the needs and interests of children as their parents seek divorce. The canton is rolling the project out in just one judicial district to begin with, but hopes that the entire canton can adopt the method in future, if it proves to be successful. 

Vaud aims for parents to have a peaceful separation

The canton of Vaud believes that by considering the welfare of any children involved, parents can separate more peacefully, leaving the child with the best possible and most peaceful solution and a healthy relationship with both parents. As more people in Switzerland choose to get a divorce, children are increasingly caught in the crossfire - used as spies or as messengers between their warring parents, especially when lawyers and financial matters are involved. 

To try to prevent this at all costs, the canton’s courts, judiciary and social services have developed a new method. "In future, the interests of children should be the focus of separation", Vaud government councillor Vassilis Venizelos told Swiss broadcaster SRF. Other Swiss cantons have already made changes to try and make children the focus of divorce proceedings, so the government in Vaud hopes similar changes could be successful in their canton too. 

Canton wants parents to attend parenting seminar before divorce

A key element of Vaud’s plans is the requirement for parents to attend an information event to remind them of their parenting responsibilities before the first court date of their divorce proceedings. They will be asked to keep their children out of any arguments and debates and to not put emotional pressure on them by using them as spies or go-betweens. 

The chief judge in Vaud also wants to change the way in which divorce applications are made and how couples communicate with the courts. In the future, divorce papers will leave no room for subjective comments, attacks and accusations, and instead focus on factual necessities such as salaries, family structure and financial requirements.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

Read more



Leave a comment