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Here we publish the last questions and answers received and released for the homepage for a few weeks. After that, they will be assigned to the appropriate section.

Thank you for your questions, which we will list here anonymously.

Is reduction of child support possible?

I pay monthly maintenance for my two children. If they are with me on a weekly basis during the summer vacations, autumn vacations, etc. (e.g. two complete weeks in the summer), may I halve the amount or is that standard practice?

The decisive question is whether or not the child is cared for beyond the usual right of contact. The usual contact is two days every two weeks and four vacation weeks, a total of about 80 days per year. If this care time is exceeded, a reduction in monetary maintenance is justified, at least in the amount of ten percent per additional weekly day of care that exceeds the usual amount.

In your case, according to the information available to me, a reduction does not seem possible, i.e. cannot be enforced by legal means. I advise you to negotiate a new solution together with the child's mother, in which you can agree on a more extended care time - with corresponding consequences for the child support payment.

Care share and possible deduction

I take care of the children every two weeks from Friday 18h - Monday 8h, then I bring them to school. Every two weeks, I also pick them up from school on a weekday at 15h, they stay overnight with me and I bring them back to school the following day. In addition, my children and I spend three weeks of vacation per year.

Approximately how big is my childcare percentage? And how many percentages am I allowed to deduct for my wife, who only works 6hrs/week since she takes care of our joint child? Is that 2%?

Only if your interactions are significantly above the usual care time (as they exist in the classic residence model) a deduction can be considered. In your case, the scope of care is - as you stated - still within this usual range, which also includes about four weeks of vacation. Only after one additional day of care per week and additional vacation time would a deduction of at least ten percent be justified according to the established (Austrian) case law. In Liechtenstein, there is as yet no established basis for the percentage deduction.

In my opinion, the deduction of two percent intended by you would be appropriate. However, as long as there is no agreement with your ex-wife, it is hardly enforceable in court - since the care times are within the usual range. Therefore, you should talk to your ex-wife and see if you can renegotiate the child support.

How long do I pay child support?

I am divorced and have three children. The eldest daughter will finish her apprenticeship this summer. How long do I have to pay child support for her?

Basically until she is able to support herself, i.e. until she has completed her apprenticeship and found a job. Details can be found here in German.

Should she continue her education, she would have to agree with you whether and how much you pay her directly.

Child Welfare

The importance of grandparents for their grandchildren when parents separate...

My husband and I want to separate. We ourselves live in the country and also stay here. Our parents live about 50km away in Switzerland and Vorarlberg.

Our two children, six and eight years old, will be with me four days a week and three with their father. So far they have been with their grandparents every first weekend of the month. On the odd months with my parents in Switzerland, on the even months with those of their father. This also gave us parents some time together, but unfortunately probably not enough. Well, that's another topic.

At the moment, communication between my husband and me is rather difficult. However, we both want our children to keep contact with their grandparents. Our questions to you:

What's the best way to do that?

What is the importance of grandparents for their grandchildren when their parents are separated?

Thank you very much for your care in dealing with your children and parents during your separation as a couple as well as the really exciting question for us.

Regarding a) You do best by continuing the way of care & mindfulness so far. Even if communication as a couple is difficult at the moment, it is worthwhile to keep at it and to keep the common focus on the child's well-being. So continue to leave the first weekend of the month to the grandparents. This will help you all, especially at this time. It seems important to us that you take time for the children and your parents when dropping them off and picking them up, exchange important information and always keep in mind "Together we can do it!"

To b) Grandparents are important for their grandchildren ... and vice versa; especially in the phase of parental separation.  In the first years, the basis for the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is laid. During this phase, grandma and grandpa are usually familiar caregivers. This is the case for your children, beautiful!

Parental alienation syndrome - what is it?

The other day we were sitting in a group discussing problems after a divorce. A friend reported that his children were alienated from him and that there was even the term "parental alienation syndrome". Do you know more about this?

Yes, it really does exist ... and unfortunately also here in Liechtenstein. The term Parental Alienation Syndrome comes from the English Parental Alienation Syndrome, abbreviated PAS.

After parental separation, in unfortunate cases, alienation can occur between a parent and his or her child. This alienation is called parental alienation syndrome or Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). The American child psychiatrist Richard Gardner described this childhood disorder as early as 1985: the child has such a negative image of a parent that he or she permanently and unjustly devalues and insults him or her. The reasons for this can vary.

Symptoms of parental alienation syndrome

In the context of custody disputes, Gardner says the custodial parent can consciously or unconsciously have such a negative impact on the child that PAS can develop. In addition, the child has a desire to belittle the other parent. Parental alienation syndrome manifests itself in these eight symptoms: the child hates a parent and devalues him and his family and friends. It has no feelings of guilt about its behavior. The rationale for this hatred is weak or absurd. The usual ambivalence towards the estranged parent is absent and the child insists that the rejection was his decision alone. In addition, it strongly supports the preferred parent during legal disputes. The child appropriates typical phrases of the preferred parent.

The three stages of parent-child alienation

PAS can be mild, moderate or severe. It depends on which of the eight symptoms are present and their severity. Weak alienation is when the child has a negative attitude toward the separated parent, but still allows visits. In the moderate level of PAS, the separated parent feels a greater dislike and visits are refused. Severe alienation is when the child exhibits all eight symptoms. Further, he or she refuses visits. This can go so far that the child threatens to run away or commit suicide if he or she feels forced to visit.

Parental alienation syndrome: how does the child feel?

Significant harm can result for a child if PAS is not intervened in. Gardner recommends separating the child from the preferred parent in special cases, or placing the child in a home, or placing the child in the care of the rejected parent. He has been and continues to be criticized for this. For whether such an abrupt cut is good for the child is another question. Some psychologists refer to parental alienation syndrome as a form of child abuse or emotional child abuse by the initiating parent. Identity formation is massively disturbed and the child runs the risk of developing a disturbed perception of self and others. In addition, it may have problems in building trust. The result can be a variety of mental illnesses, which can still occur in adulthood.

Once again, this clearly shows how problematic it can be when the child gets into the line of fire of separation disputes and is even instrumentalized. Even if you reject or perhaps even hate your ex-partner, you should encourage contact and give your child the chance to be allowed to love his or her mom or dad. Your partnership disputes may have separated you, but the love for the child will always unite you.

We think it is important that involved parents are addressed about this; also about their responsibility in this regard. If necessary, it makes sense to contact the Office of Social Services. (See child welfare endangerment)

Book recommendation

Das Parental Alienation Syndrom (PAS): Eltern - Kind - Entfremdung in Trennungssituationen
2010, Kerstin Mettig


PAS – das elterliche Entfremdungssyndrom

What is meant by "the best interests of the child"?

I keep reading about the best interests of the child and also have my understanding of it. What does one (society, legislator, court, men's issues, ...) actually understand by it and what does that mean for me as a father?

The General Civil Code ABGB states in § 137b:

  1. In all matters concerning the minor child, in particular custody and personal contacts, the best interests of the child shall be taken into account as a guiding consideration.
  2. In assessing the best interests of the child, particular consideration shall be given to the extent to which, taking into account the living conditions of the child, his or her parents and other environment:
    1. the child is provided with adequate food, medical and sanitary care, and housing;
    2. care, security and protection of the child's physical and mental integrity are guaranteed, and the risk of the child suffering violence or witnessing violence against important caregivers, or being illegally removed or retained, is avoided;
    3. a careful upbringing of the child is ensured and his or her aptitudes, abilities, inclinations and development opportunities are promoted;
    4. the child is valued and accepted by the parents, his or her opinion is taken into account in accordance with his or her understanding and ability to form opinions, and any adverse effects that he or she might suffer as a result of the enforcement of a measure are prevented;
    5. reliable contacts and secure ties of the child to both parents and important attachment figures are ensured and conflicts of loyalty are avoided; and the property and other claims and interests of the child are safeguarded.

The best interests of the child are therefore the guiding principle in all essential questions concerning the care, upbringing and education of the child. It is the epitome of all favorable living conditions to help the child to a good and healthy development.

The Liechtenstein (as well as the Swiss) law does not provide a further definition of the best interests of the child. The term itself is used in other LI laws, e.g. Asylum Ordinance, Marriage Act. This thus undefined legal term is subject to social changes and can therefore be filled with different contents in practice. This is especially true in a value-pluralistic society, in which parents have a great deal of discretion in deciding which ethical or religious values to use in raising their children. There is therefore no yardstick for comparing good and bad parenting, and ultimately that is not the point. What is decisive is what is best for a child based on its individual abilities and characteristics in the given situation, i.e. which living conditions best serve its good and healthy development.

What is meant by child welfare endangerment?

Thank you for your answer to the question about the welfare of the child. We were not far apart, but a confirmation is always good! Now I have another question: What does child welfare endangerment mean?

We're glad to hear that, thank you!

In most Western countries, the state is not permitted to interfere with parents' right to raise their children. This is only possible in justified exceptional cases, such as endangering the welfare of the child. It must be noted, however, that the interpretation of this endangerment is always up to the courts, since the best interests of the child is an undefined legal concept. In practice, this means that it must be examined on an individual basis whether and, if so, to what extent the best interests of the child are endangered. This is the case, for example, if there is a risk of mental or physical harm to the child as a result of neglect on the part of the parents, or if this is already the case.

Endangering the best interests of the child can be divided into three different categories:

  • Neglect of the child
  • Educational violence and abuse
  • Sexual violence

Children have a right to an upbringing free of violence and the state, as the "guardian", must ensure that they are granted this right. If it is determined that the best interests of the child are at risk, the state must intervene and protect the child in question.

Definition of child endangerment

A risk to a child's well-being is often an interplay of various difficult and stressful circumstances that result in a child not being able to develop in a healthy way physically, psychologically, intellectually and/or socially. This makes it clear that the question of when a child's well-being is at risk is not easy to answer. Every situation of a possible endangerment of a child's well-being is connected with observation and evaluation, with real possibilities of change and prognoses.

Articles of law in Liechtenstein

The Liechtenstein Children and Young Persons Act addresses this in the following articles, among others:

Art. 20 Reporting obligations

1) Any person who has a reasonable suspicion of the existence of a serious violation or endangerment of the welfare of children and adolescents, or knowledge thereof, is obliged to report it to the Office of Social Services. Serious injury or endangerment exists in particular in cases of maltreatment and other serious use of violence, sexual abuse, gross neglect, threatened forced marriage, neglect and addiction.

2) Anyone who has a reasonable suspicion of the existence of a less serious violation or endangerment of the welfare of children and adolescents, or knowledge thereof, is entitled to report it to the Office of Social Services.

Art. 21 Clarifications

1) If the Office of Social Services receives a report pursuant to Article 20 or otherwise becomes aware of the violation or endangerment of the welfare of children and adolescents, it shall conduct the clarifications necessary for their assessment or have such clarifications conducted.

2) Persons working in child and youth welfare or in child and youth work, teachers, kindergarten teachers and members of the health care professions shall cooperate in clarifying whether there is a violation of or a threat to the welfare of children and adolescents and in clarifying whether there is a need for action and shall support the Office of Social Services with their expertise and experience

Art. 23 Aids and further measures

1) If the welfare of children and adolescents is violated or endangered, the Office for Social Services shall itself provide or arrange for the necessary assistance in accordance with Section B. Appropriate assistance may be provided in consultation with the Office for Social Services by suitable third parties, in particular by persons named in Art. 21 Para. 2 who have a personal relationship of trust with the children and adolescents concerned.

4) An administrative measure shall end when its purpose has been achieved or when the purpose can be ensured in another way. In any case, the administrative measure shall end when the young person concerned has reached the age of 18.

Art. 24 Directives and requirements

1) If the welfare of children and adolescents is endangered, the Office of Social Services may issue instructions and impose conditions on children and adolescents and their legal guardians.

3) In particular, it may instruct the legal guardians:

a) to provide regulated care and education;

b) to make use of or permit certain professional assistance for their children and juveniles, in particular educational, psychological or medical counseling, treatment or supervision;

c) to submit themselves to certain psychological or medical examination, treatment or therapy, including measures to control and ensure abstinence in the case of addiction.

4) If a person with parental authority refuses to comply with an instruction or requirement and the risk to the welfare of the child, adolescent or young person persists, the Office of Social Services shall apply to the district court for a court order for this very measure in the legal welfare proceedings. The district court may instruct the Office of Social Services to monitor compliance with the instruction or requirement.


Juraforum - Kindeswohl

Bern Directorate of Justice, Municipalities and Churches

Ex-partner does not allow contact with the child

My ex-partner - we were not married - moved to Switzerland a year ago and has sole custody of our 2-year-old son. Unfortunately, she refuses a written fixed contact arrangement and only lets me see the little one now and then. She completely refuses to visit me in our former apartment because it would only "irritate" the child. What can I do in this case?

The child needs both parents for its natural development. The right of contact is a fundamental right of the parent-child relationship. Where it is not exercised or cannot be exercised, it will sooner or later lead to alienation. The mere fear of irritation is not sufficient to deny contact. If she does not meet you as the father in this point, you should involve the competent authorities (the courts, in Switzerland a special child protection authority, the KESB, is responsible in such cases).

My wife and I disagree on major parenting issues

My wife and I can't agree on major parenting issues for our mutual daughter (11). She is pushing her more and more to make an "elite student" out of her. I am a bit more skeptical about this because I fear that our daughter will be overwhelmed. I am accused of endangering the child's career prospects with my attitude. Who is endangering the child's welfare here?

It is true that the concept of the best interests of the child includes not only careful upbringing but also the promotion of aptitudes, abilities and development potential. Nevertheless, exaggerated care or performance thinking can lead to an overburdening situation that is not good for the child. It is important to keep a close eye on when this limit is reached. In this context, the best interests of the child also mean that the child's opinion, wishes and limits are taken into account, i.e. you should both listen to your daughter and then decide.

We will leave you with these questions:

  • What are the major parenting issues on which you disagree?
  • Where would there be win-win and where compromise solutions?
  • Are you in contact with your class teacher, school social workers or other specialists?

Traditional care model or alternating model?

I am about to divorce, we have 2 children (3 and 8 years old). I am still discussing with my wife whether we should decide on an alternating model (weekly alternation) or on a normal model. Of course, it is important to us that the children feel comfortable with this. Which care model is better for the children?

In principle, you have a wide range of options; none of the models has only advantages or disadvantages. In the case of the alternating model, both parents remain more or less equally involved in the division of responsibilities for their children. The fact that close parent-child relationships are maintained between the children and both parents and that the parents are relieved in comparison to single parents speaks above all for the alternating model.

On the other hand, there is then no longer a clear center of life for the children, which speaks more for a model with predominant care by one parent. It would be optimal if the previous familiar environment is maintained even with a weekly change (grandparents, kindergarten, school, etc.) or can be reached within a short distance. The children should be able to determine their own time as they get older. As parents, you must show a high degree of willingness to cooperate and flexibility in order for the model to work. Experiences in Germany and abroad have shown that the children get along well with the alternating care model.

Compliments that your children are allowed to feel comfortable and that their needs and desires are taken into consideration.

Sole custody: Can she decide everything?

My ex-wife has sole custody of our 6-year-old son. Can I still have a say in certain cases or does she make all decisions alone?

The non-custodial parent has a right to information and expression. Your ex-wife has to inform you about all important matters and developments of your child at an early stage (e.g. change of school or place of residence, illnesses, property matters). However, for the time your son is with you, you can make everyday decisions without the mother's involvement (nutrition, rest periods, ...) Furthermore, you can decide in emergencies, such as when the child needs urgent medical treatment. Please inform the mother immediately in such cases.

Moving away with the child abroad

My wife and I would like to divorce. Since she is Swiss, she intends to move back to her home country, but not near the border. This will probably mean that I will be able to see my child less. Can she do this without my consent and register the child at the new place of reside

Basically: No. Unless there is a corresponding court decision or your explicit consent. The practice in Switzerland is inconsistent as far as the notification is concerned.

In some cantons, forms are used to check whether the other parent has given his or her consent. If this is not the case, the child does not receive a residence permit and retains its original residence in Liechtenstein. Elsewhere in Switzerland, the municipality of departure checks whether the other parent agrees to the change of residence.

In general, in the event of a conflict in the case of an intended move abroad, it is recommended to clarify the issue with the residents' registration office/registration office of the respective new place of residence.

Life forms

Registered partnership, how to dissolve it?

I (27) have been living with my boyfriend in a registered partnership for 1 year, but would definitely like to end the relationship. What exactly do I have to do to legally dissolve the partnership?

According to the Partnership Act, the procedure is the same as for a marriage, although there are deviations. If you have been living in a registered partnership for more than a year, it can be dissolved by mutual agreement.

You should agree on all ancillary consequences of the dissolution, such as maintenance contributions, allocation of the joint home, household effects and property issues, and then file a joint petition for dissolution of the partnership in court. You can also request that the court decide on those issues on which no agreement has been reached so far.

If one party does not agree to dissolution, either party may unilaterally request dissolution - except in the case of unreasonableness of continuing the partnership (which can also be dissolved before the one-year period has expired) - if the partners have been separated for at least one year.

How do we secure ourselves in a cohabitation?

My girlfriend (39) and I (44) want to move in together. As far as I know, maintenance in a cohabitation is not regulated by law. What should we do to protect each other?

You are right. In contrast to a registered partnership, there are no legal regulations regarding maintenance, custody, assets, etc. in a traditional partnership. Therefore, cohabitants have neither maintenance claims nor inheritance or compulsory portion rights nor any other claims as between spouses.

If you want to enter into a long-term partnership, we advise you to regulate all relevant points in a written contract for a functioning relationship as well as for the case of separation. This includes in particular:

  • reciprocal indemnities or maintenance claims, if there is a need, specifying the amount and duration;
  • reciprocal inheritance rights (a separate will should be drawn up for this purpose);
  • reciprocal rights to information and representation;
  • Determination of property rights;
  • compensation claims for work performed (participation in the acquisition of the other);
  • at most, emergency regulations (for example, if one is no longer able to act on his or her own), etc.

It is therefore up to you to decide to what extent you want your relationship to be closer to a marriage (regulated by law) or otherwise more detailed. In the event of a dispute or the end of a relationship, a fair agreement between the partners only offers advantages over a completely unregulated stat

Life crisis

Off track, without a job, how to continue?!

I am 53 and after more than 23 years of employment with a Liechtenstein company, I was terminated for "operational" reasons. I have been looking for a job for over half a year. Slowly, tensions are arising in my marriage as well. I feel bad, I feel useless and I don't really believe in a new beginning. Can you help me?

Crises and unpleasant changes often pull us off course. Self-doubt and uncertainty are then completely normal. But you shouldn't get stuck in this phase, but actively look for a new perspective. In the context of a men's coaching, a confidential conversation from man to man, we can help you break out of old habits and break new ground. To quote Max Frisch: "A crisis can be a productive state. You just have to take away the taint of catastrophe from it."

The first conversation is free of charge and without obligation for you. We can then look at how we might work further. Maybe you come together with your wife?


In debt, how do I get out of it?!

I am 44 and just separated from my wife. My problem is: Unemployed for several months, my debts are now growing over my head, twice the bailiff has already been at my door. I am afraid that I will also have to pay my wife's unpaid bills. The whole thing is also taking its toll on my health.

First of all, you should have a professional clarify whether the claims that are to be enforced against you are really legally valid or whether legal remedies are possible. Within the framework of debt counseling or coaching with us, we can find ways to ease your situation. The goal must be the reorganization of your debts, for example through a realistic debt settlement plan, which is very differentiated according to claims and creditors. You are welcome to make an appointment with us or contact the Hand in Hand Foundation in Balzers directly regarding the topic of debt;

In principle, you are not liable for your wife's debts, unless both partners have committed themselves (jointly), e.g. in the case of credit agreements. It is important that you do something!



In letzter Zeit habe ich mich auf Internetseiten für Kontakte mit Frauen umgeschaut. Letzthin war ich auf ... (Name gelöscht) und war positiv überrascht, nicht gleich meine Kreditkarte angeben zu müssen. Ich konnte kostenlos einen Account erstellen. Ich gab eine meiner Emailadressen an und schon am nächsten Tag erhielt ich Angebote von jungen Frauen. Sogar jünger als mein eingegebener Altersbereich und mit Foto! Tolle Überraschung.

Eine schrieb mir, sie wolle erst ein Cam-Date (Kontakt via Computer-Kamera), eine andere bot mir Sex gegen TG. Heisst wohl Taschengeld?

Ich selbst habe überhaupt noch kein Foto vor mir gepostet und dann diese Antworten. Ist das seriös? Was haltet ihr davon?

Wir haben uns aufgrund deiner Anfrage genauer mit verschiedenen Portalen befasst. Geld spielt - wie von dir vermutet - bei allen eine Rolle. Schliesslich wollen sie auch von etwas leben - und zwar möglichst gut. Und hier liegt wohl auch der Haken drin.

Auf allen von uns besuchten Portalen sind mehr Männer gemeldet als Frauen. Jene, die eine Monats- oder Jahrespauschale verlangen, weisen - gemäss eigenen Angaben sowie Berichten - einen höheren Anteil an weiblichen Mitgliedern aus als beispielsweise das von dir angegebene "Gratis-Portal". Diese holen sich ihr Geld erst später bei ihren Kunden (Männern!), wenn diese Chancen erkennen, einen echten Sex-Kontakt herstellen zu können. Damit du als Kunde dies auch machst, erhältst du beispielsweise schnell nach der Anmeldung Anfragen von Frauen. Dabei dürfte es sich jedoch unserer Meinung nach auch um automatisch generierte Anfragen handeln, welche von einer Software gesteuert sind. Sie bewirken, dass du antworten möchtest um Kontakt aufzunehmen und dann braucht es vielfach Punkte, Coins, ... - welche du vorher bei ihnen kaufen musst.

Ein Cam-Chatt birgt auch die Gefahr, dass du heimlich gefilmt wirst und zwar möglichst nackt. Das kann zu Erpressung führen: Von dir wird Geld verlangt, sonst wird der Film veröffentlicht.

Also auf jeden Fall: Vorsicht im Internet! Schau dich doch in der reellen Welt um, flirte & sprich an wenn es passt.

My wife does not want to have sex with me anymore

I am married and we have grown children. My wife has hardly wanted to sleep with me for some time. She thinks it's something for younger people and that we also have sex. For me, sexuality is important and one of the central points of a partnership. I masturbate regularly. Three weeks ago I was at a party and then slept with another woman. I enjoyed the sex very much, but not the guilty conscience afterwards. I love my wife and do not want to lose her. But I also want to be sexually active. What should I do?

Changes in sexuality are normal in connection with the different phases of life and partnership (e.g. pregnancy, illness, menopause, ...) Many long-term couples find themselves in this challenge and you should tackle it together. Talk openly with each other, formulate your different needs and look for solutions. For example, brainstorm and write down all the suggestions without immediately evaluating them. Then pick out those that might be conceivable and develop them further together. Create stressless zones. Do more together, go away and let your body and soul dangle.

If you feel you are not getting anywhere, treat yourself to a refueling station for your relationship. This could be couples counseling or sex counseling. Check out our pages on counseling centers or literature, we are happy to give you recommendations.

Separation & Divorce

Since my wife has been in counseling, I can't talk to her.

I am about 50 years old and we have been married for 22 years. After the years of having children together (3 children aged 15, 17, 20) we drifted apart as a couple and never got back together. My wife has - as I suspect - a boyfriend and wants to separate from me. She was now in counseling three weeks ago to find out about her situation and options. Three days ago she presented me with a separation agreement which I am supposed to sign. In it, for example, the alimony payments, a 14-day visitation right for me and my minor children and the sentence that I have to move out of our house immediately. She wants to talk to me again when I have signed. She used to be more open ...

I just feel sh... and don't know what to do. I hope you guys have some useful advice.

You should not sign anything that you have not checked first. We recommend that you make an appointment for a personal consultation with us, preferably together with your wife. An alternative or preliminary step would be individual counseling with us for you.

In couples counseling, we would strengthen you in your role as parents and direct your focus towards a good solution that serves and does justice to all.

In individual counseling, we would look through the separation agreement with you and review possible courses of action with you.

Important: Your wife is ahead of you, there are hurts with both of you, look at yourself & the family (whatever that means) as well as the future. Recognize the opportunities that are available to you.

Wife does not want divorce, can I force it?

I would like to divorce my foreign partner, as I am now sure that she only married me for financial security and does not take our relationship seriously. We have been married for 3 years now, but she says that she would never agree to a divorce. Can I get a divorce against her will?

If - as in your case - an amicable solution is out of the question, there are only two ways to end the marriage, even against the will of your partner, if necessary:

a) you have not lived together for 3 years;


b) the continuation of the marriage would no longer be reasonable for one party, for example if one party has committed serious marital misconduct or if the marriage was not really wanted in the first place (sham marriage).

In both cases, an action must be brought before the court.

Attorney fees and court costs, how expensive

My wife wants a divorce. What costs for lawyers and court should I expect in the event of a dispute?

If legal aid (= legal aid in case of weak income and financial circumstances via application) cannot be considered, there are the following possibilities:

You can quickly agree on the points of conflict and file a joint petition for divorce; then the costs are manageable (possible lawyer's fees before the trial, low court fees).

  • You involve a lawyer in each case and try to "get out" as much as possible, which makes the matter more expensive or the costs unmanageable.
  • Lawyers can claim their legal (i.e. regulated in a decree) tariff costs from the court according to the success principle. These are based on the so-called amount in dispute, i.e. the whole thing can become very expensive if high assets or maintenance payments have to be negotiated and, if necessary, several court instances (regional court, higher court, supreme court) are involved.

In the internal relationship, attorneys generally charge according to the time spent, usually around CHF 350 per hour or more. The fees can also be freely agreed between lawyer and client.

Girlfriend moves out of shared apartment; who pays the rent?

I lived together with my girlfriend in a 3-room apartment. The lease was limited to 3 years and runs on me. Now my girlfriend has separated from me and moved out. I would still have to pay 9 months rent until the end of the contract ? Do I have to stand alone for it?

Since there is no joint (main) rental agreement, you alone are liable for the remaining rent to the landlord. The case would be different if you had rented the apartment together, then you would be jointly liable for the payment of the rent. But even in this case, the landlord can hold on to you alone.

Assuming that your girlfriend has contributed to the costs of the rent so far, there is a subtenancy. This entitles you to claim half or the agreed share from her in the internal relationship until the end of the lease.

Can a power of attorney be revoked?

I have retained an attorney in the divorce proceedings, but I am not satisfied with his representation. Can I simply revoke his power of attorney and change lawyers?

If you as a client are not satisfied with the lawyer's performance, the power of attorney can be withdrawn. It is best to inform him of this in writing. He may then no longer intervene on your behalf and must notify the court of the termination of the mandate.

It is a client's good right, if trust in the lawyer is lost or the "chemistry" is simply not right, to make a change.

I won the case, do I still have to pay the lawyer?

My lawyer successfully represented me in a child support case against my ex-wife and we won in two instances. She was obliged to pay all attorney's fees and court costs, including my attorney's fees. Now, a few months after the end of the case, my lawyer is demanding his costs on the grounds that they cannot be recovered from my ex-wife.

Can he do that?

Due to the existing client-lawyer relationship, the lawyer is entitled to claim the appropriate fee from the client, even if he has won the case in its entirety ("prevailed") and the opposing party has been obliged to pay by judgment, but is unable to pay. Therefore, before starting a lawsuit, one should always consider this cost risk as well and ask the assigned lawyer about it without hesitation.

After divorce: How to pay tax?

How does divorce affect our tax situation?

After a divorce, the two ex-partners are again to be regarded as individual taxpayers. This means that from the year in which the divorce is legally finalized, each must submit a separate tax return to his or her municipality of residence. Maintenance payments are to be declared as a deduction for the parent obliged to pay maintenance and as income for the parent entitled to maintenance.

Is mediation before divorce useful?

We are considering separating, but do not want to file for divorce right away. Many questions such as assets or the care of our children are still unresolved. What are the arguments for mediation and what does it cost?

Mediation definitely helps to defuse a conflict situation. If there are many legal aspects to be clarified, a qualified legal consultation should take place beforehand. We are happy to offer you such a consultation free of charge.

With the help of a qualified professional in mediation, practical and balanced solutions can be developed to put an end to old dispute patterns and to find new ways of thinking and seeing things. In addition to conflict resolution, mediation's methods are designed to work toward building your communication skills, which will ultimately benefit your children.

The costs are modest compared to the costs of a dispute in court. Depending on the qualifications of the professional, you can expect an hourly rate of CHF 150 to CHF 400.

We can also arrange a less expensive one for CHF 80.-. In a non-binding and free initial consultation, we could clarify whether mediation is suitable for your specific situation of interest.

What to divide in case of divorce?

During the marriage we built a house on my property, which was encumbered with mortgages of CHF 400,000. Furthermore, our assets consist of two savings accounts and two cars. The house is to remain my property. What is now to be divided within the framework of the divorce?

Assets created by the spouses during the marriage are subject to division. This must involve an increase in the value of the assets of one of the spouses. The criterion for the increase in value is in any case the objective value (market value) of the house, after deduction of the mortgages still attached to it. The savings accounts as well as the cars can be allocated to one side each, so that assets face each other on both sides. The difference is to be divided in such a way that an equalization payment is to be made: the case law emphasizes in this respect that such an equalization payment should not be calculated in a mathematically precise manner, but should be assessed with a lump sum under equity aspects.

Finally, it should be mentioned that a division of the marital property increase in divorce proceedings only takes place if one side requires the division.

In case of hardship divorce...

Living with my wife has become unbearable. She has often helped herself to my money without my consent, refuses any intimacy and has physically attacked me. I consider myself a hardship case and would like a divorce as soon as possible. Is this possible?

The bar for a so-called hardship divorce has been set particularly high. In the vast majority of cases, the courts consider it reasonable to maintain the bond of marriage until the three-year separation period expires. Unless both consent.

The plaintiff who wishes to divorce in this way must prove an exceptional marital fault attributable to the other party. The unreasonable situation refers solely to the continuation of the marriage bond as such. If the unreasonable effects can be significantly avoided by living separately, the separation period must be waited for. Thus, it always depends on whether the alleged unreasonable conditions would continue even in the case of de facto separation. Only in this case would such a petition for divorce have a chance of success.


Are the percentages in child support legal?

In connection with alimony payments (spouse & children), these percentages are used everywhere. Are they fixed by law? I have not found anything.

No, they are not prescribed by law. They have developed in practice and mostly represent a good provision for the mother and children. For the father, paying the corresponding amounts is not infrequently difficult, as it can bring him to the limits of existence. The spouses can also reach an agreement outside these percentages.

Alimony for the ex-wife, how long is obligatory?

I have heard that I have to pay alimony to my wife until AHV age. Others say only as long as the children are minors or until they are 16 years old. Which is correct?

The duration of maintenance is not tied to a certain age. First of all, it must be examined whether the wife has a need for maintenance at all, i.e. whether she is not or only partially able to support herself, taking into account all the circumstances (ability to support herself). If there is a basic need for alimony and thus an obligation to pay alimony, various criteria are decisive as to how long alimony is to be paid: the duration of the marriage, the living situation of both partners during the marriage, age, education, professional potential, income situation and care obligations as far as joint children are concerned as the most important criteria. In short: everything depends very much on the individual case, whether and to what extent alimony has to be paid.

We would be happy to discuss this with you in more detail in a personal meeting.

Divide half of the assets in a divorce?

My wife wants to divorce me after twelve years of marriage. She demands half of my assets. I own a condominium that we have lived in together up to now. A granny apartment in it has been rented out for years. She would waive alimony payments, since she herself works 100% and earns not bad. She demands that I show her all bank and other documents in order to be able to divide the assets.  Should I go along with this?

As far as the information is concerned, you really have to "drop your pants". Each spouse - as well as spouse - is obliged to inform the other about his or her income and asset situation. Concealment is strongly discouraged. The sooner the circumstances are clarified, the better. However, you do not simply have to hand over half of your assets, but only the income from your own property - even if it is inherited or donated - counts as part of your increase in assets. Outside of the personal property, all increases in assets achieved during your marriage are to be divided.

Here it would make sense to come to an agreement and think about who will remain in the previous marital home.  Disputes in court about property claims can be very costly, especially if lawyers negotiate high amounts in dispute.

Child support - who receives it in case of joint custody?

My wife and I want to get divorced. We can still talk to each other well and have already agreed on all essential points. We have decided to take care of our 10-year-old son alternately, so that he lives with me half the week and with my wife the other half. Who receives the child benefit with this solution?

In the case of the equally weighted alternating model mentioned, this question does indeed arise. The Family Compensation Fund (FAK) pays the child allowance to the person with whom it is registered. Thus, an official residence must be designated. At the same time, the person who takes care of the child at his or her official place of residence also receives a single-parent allowance upon application. In the case of a 50/50 care model, this is then at the expense of the other part, who does not receive the allowance. Here you should seek discussion and find an appropriate internal solution.

Change of studies, do I have to finance it?

My 22-year-old son is studying medicine in the third semester, but now wants to change to study biology and later become a teacher. Do I have to accept this change and continue to pay for the new studies beyond the age of 25?

There is no legal limit on the obligation to pay maintenance to the age of 25. As things stand here, your son has obviously realized relatively early on that medicine is not for him and has seriously decided to change his field of study. What is important in this context is that the new course of study is started with appropriate commitment and pursued successfully. If the parents are economically able to do so and the change of study offers a sensible perspective for the child's professional future, they must continue to finance the study program for its full length. However, they can demand an own contribution from the child, as far as this is reasonable. For example, through holiday jobs.

My ex-wife lives with a new partner, do I have to continue payin

I have heard that if you remarry, the obligation to support your ex-wife no longer applies. Mine lives with our common daughter since a few months with her new partner. In this case, do I have to continue to pay the maintenance set by the court, and if not, can I stop my payments immediately ?

In the case of a new cohabitation, maintenance does not automatically cease as in the case of remarriage. The lawyers say that maintenance is "suspended" for as long as the cohabitation exists. Whether a cohabitation exists is always to be judged according to the concrete circumstances. If there is the intention to lead the new partnership permanently (possibly to marry later); the partners share table and bed and also support each other financially, a cohabitation is to be assumed. Then you could stop the alimony immediately and take legal action in case of disagreement.

What you can do in any case already today is to talk to your ex-wife. For example, if you are in a financial bottleneck and she finds out about it, she might agree to it. You can also agree, for example, that you will increase the alimony payment again if they separate again.

Apprentice wages, chargeable to alimony?

I pay child support for our 16-year-old son. Since he has been in an apprenticeship for 1 year now, I would like to know whether the apprentice's salary is to be counted towards child support.

A child entitled to maintenance must have his or her own income taken into account, such as the apprentice's salary in this case. In this case, the minimum subsistence level must be used as a basis, minus the actual wage income (net wage minus health insurance contribution and other work-related expenses, travel and subsistence costs). The resulting amount is to be covered by the parents, i.e. half by each parent. However, if this results in more money being available for the child before than with the apprenticeship salary, then so much "topping up" is still to be done so that the previous maintenance contribution is still available to the child.

In general, maintenance contributions are not owed rigidly according to percentages, but the concrete individual case must always be examined as to whether and to what extent a child entitled to maintenance is capable of self-support through apprenticeship, additional earnings, etc. The child's income must be calculated on the basis of the child's income.

Are the percentages in alimony fixed by law?

In connection with alimony payments (spouse & children), these percentages are used everywhere. Are they fixed by law? I have not found anything.

No, they are not prescribed by law. They have developed in practice and mostly represent a good provision for the mother and children. For the father, paying the corresponding amounts is not infrequently difficult, as it can bring him to the limits of existence. The spouses can also reach an agreement outside these percentages.


Girlfriend pregnant, am I the father?

I (25) was in a relationship that only lasted 4 months. My ex-girlfriend says she is pregnant by me. She is asking me to acknowledge paternity and pay child support. Since I am not sure if I am really the father, I would like to have this question clarified beforehand. What is the best way for me to proceed?

According to the law, the father is presumed to be the person who had intercourse with the mother in the period between the 300th and 180th day before the birth. On the one hand, this presumption can be refuted by a paternity test, or it can be invalidated by proof that the paternity of another man is more likely. It is advisable to talk to the mother in order to have a paternity test carried out together. If she does not agree, you should wait. She could then (as the child's legal representative) sue to establish paternity in court.


Changed scope of duties permissible?

I work in a service company. Now it so happens that the boss has transferred me to another department, where I am entrusted with new tasks. I am unhappy with this situation because the job is less demanding. Is he allowed to do this?

No, the employee must perform the activity that was agreed upon at the beginning of the contract. In certain crisis situations, the scope of activities may be temporarily extended, i.e. if there is a real "emergency", an employee must accept this. No one has to accept a permanent curtailment of the previous scope of duties or even a demotion against his will. Here you would have to clearly express that you do not agree with this. If an employee were assigned by the boss to temporarily take on a better qualified job, he would be entitled to a higher wage in the absence of any other agreement.

Employer in payment difficulties, what to do?

I work in a small company. The boss has paid all employees the last three wages only partially and late. Due to a bottleneck, we are supposed to be patient and the situation would quickly improve. Do I have to put up with this?

No, if he does not pay the wages even "provisionally" or only partially, you should expressly request him to pay the outstanding amounts immediately. If his justifications seem doubtful to you, have him clarify whether dunning or execution proceedings are already pending with the court. If this is the case, there is a risk of insolvency. The employee is then entitled to stop work and terminate without notice. Before doing so, the employer should be given another few days' notice so that he can at least provide security for the full future salary.

I would advise you not to wait any longer.

Non-competition clause permissible?

I have - after I no longer felt comfortable in my previous company and, contrary to my expectations and despite promises made by my boss, have not been promoted - considered starting my own company - in the same industry. My employment contract contains a clause according to which I am not allowed to take up a competing activity in Liechtenstein or elsewhere in Switzerland/EU for three years, otherwise I would have to pay a penalty of CHF 100,000.

Should I renounce self-employment ?

No, because there are good arguments against your employer's position. On the one hand, the non-competition clause is geographically extremely broad, and on the other hand, it is questionable whether you had insight into customer and business secrets and whether the exploitation of such information could significantly harm the employer.

The non-competition clause also does not apply if the circumstances that led to the termination of the employment relationship make it seem unfair to further burden employees who leave the company. This would be the case if the employer gave the employee reasonable cause for termination. The courts consider a non-competition clause to be invalid if, for example, the employee's personality was disregarded, wages were not paid in full or important assurances - such as the promised promotion in your case - were not kept. Furthermore, if the agreed penalty is significantly higher than the annual salary, it may be considered excessive.

In principle, employees are allowed to use their personal skills and professional experience, regardless of where they were acquired, even to the detriment of a previous employer.

Seek qualified advice and examine the case in detail; in no case should you back down.

Job reference; correction possible?

I am currently looking for a job and have doubts whether the reference issued by my old employer is really helpful. Among other things, my work performance was not evaluated as well as I had imagined (literally it says: "he has worked to our full satisfaction"). Is there anything I can do to correct this?

Unfortunately, some personnel departments place too little value on an appropriate reference.

The reference should make truthful statements and must not contain any ambiguous or "coded" formulations. The employer's duty of care towards his employee implies that the reference should be written in a benevolent manner and should not hinder the employee in his job search. As you yourself imply, not all positive wording is to be understood in this way. "To the employee's complete satisfaction" may be well-intentioned. For an employee who did first-rate work, the rating would have been too meager.

If you feel that your achievements are not sufficiently appreciated in the reference, you could ask your former company for a correction; for example, change "to the full" to "to the fullest satisfaction. If there is disagreement, you can sue for correction of the reference at the regional court.

Freelancer or employee?

According to the contract, I am employed in a commercial company (IT industry) as a freelancer on an hourly basis, initially limited to two years. I am largely free to organize my work as I wish. The company does not pay social security contributions and claims that I am not an employee but only employed on a contract basis. Can I demand to be employed as a regular employee?

Your contractual relationship can be regarded as either an employment contract or a contract for work and services. The decisive factor is which elements of one or the other type of contract predominate. For example, in the case of a contract for work, you yourself are responsible for paying social security contributions.

If the boss can give you instructions, i.e. determine what, when, where and how your work is to be performed, or if a fixed monthly payment has been agreed upon, one can assume a regular employment relationship. In this case, the employer would be responsible for the payment of social security contributions.

Nowadays, there are more and more employment relationships in a "gray area", where - sometimes on both sides - there is uncertainty as to how it is to be legally classified. It would therefore make sense to have this checked by a lawyer.

Overtime compensation for part-time work

I currently work as a part-time employee (at 70%), but still have frequent overtime, so most weeks I effectively work full-time. However, since I only receive the salary for the 70% plus a bonus each time, I am wondering if I can be compensated for overtime; compensatory time off is missing.

Part-time employees can only claim compensation for overtime if a fixed working time has been agreed. Even if the number of hours per week is not explicitly stated in the employment contract, it may result from the circumstances (for example, if it has been regularly set over a longer period of time).

If there is no clear agreement on compensation of overtime by additional time off, you could claim overtime compensation, i.e. a wage supplement of 25% from the additional hour of the agreed normal weekly working time. You could therefore invoice the overtime as actual working time and, if necessary, claim it in court.

Gratification or thirteen salaries?

My new employment contract states that a bonus amounting to one month's salary will be paid. This is subject to the condition that I am still employed at the time of payment. Am I entitled to a "thirteenth" in any case? --> "thirteenth" is an additional part of the yearly salary, which is paid to the employee in november as a bonus payment (per usual).

Während der "Dreizehnte" (13. Monatslohn) eine feste Zusage einer Gehaltszahlung ist, ist die Gratifikation eine Begünstigung (Zuwendung), die in der Regel vom Geschäftsgang oder vom Einsatz des Arbeitsnehmers abhängt. Der "Dreizehnte" ist der Höhe nach bestimmt und auch geschuldet bei Verhinderung an der Arbeit.

In deinem Fall ist der Vertrag unklar formuliert: Die Leistung ist klar als Gratifikation bezeichnet, der Höhe nach klar bestimmt. Das "ungekündigte Arbeitsverhältnis" besagt, dass die Zahlung als Aufmunterung für die Zukunft zu verstehen ist, was wiederum eher gegen den Lohncharakter sprechen würde.

Massgeblich in deinem Fall:

  • Sind die Zahlungen in der Praxis regelmässig, ohne Vorbehalt, am Ende des Geschäftsjahres geleistet worden? Wenn ja, wiederlegt die Wiederholung und die Auszahlungspraxis den freiwilligen Charakter der Gratifikation.
  • Ausserdem gibt es den Rechtsgrundsatz, dass im Zweifel unklare Formulierungen zulasen der Partei, die den Vertrag verfasst hat, auszulegen sind. Somit ist hier von einem festen Lohnbestandteil auszugehen, sofern die mit der Auszahlungspraxis übereinstimmt.

Can the ex-boss spill the beans?

Is my ex-boss allowed to pass on information about me without being asked when I apply for a new job?

While the employee is obligated to maintain confidentiality even after termination of the employment relationship, this does not apply to the employer. It is common for personnel managers and supervisors to willingly provide information about former employees as soon as another (potential) employer asks for it.

The information provided by former superiors is therefore also to be regarded as an important decision-making aid in the selection of personnel. Nevertheless, this type of exchange of information between personnel managers is an encroachment on the personal rights of the employee and should only take place if the person concerned has expressly consented to it.

The disclosure of personal data to third parties without the consent of the person concerned is clearly contrary to the Data Protection Act.

Setting withdrawn! What now?

After a long job search, I have received a clear commitment for a clerk position at a company through their personnel manager. I have been informed of the starting date and salary. For reasons I cannot explain, I still do not receive an employment contract. How should I proceed?

The personnel manager will act in coordination with the management and - under this assumption - will be authorized to issue corresponding binding declarations for the employer. If the job has been promised to the job applicant with some relevant key points such as entry date, employment wheel and (fixed) salary, an employment contract has already been concluded on an oral basis. This is supported by the fact that a written contract is drawn up.

In the first place, you should approach the employer and insist on the execution of the contract. The employer is obliged to explain why the job did not start as planned. If you are unable to start the job, you will be entitled to compensation. It is completely open how high these will be, since this also depends on any alternatives or income you may have (unemployment benefit, additional income, etc.).


Personal use need; notice of termination permissible?

I am divorced and live with my two children in an apartment building for rent. Now the landlord wants to give me notice and cites personal need as the reason. However, he already has a larger apartment in the same building. Can he give notice without further ado?

Unfortunately, this is the case if the tenant observes the agreed notice period. In Liechtenstein there is currently no developed tenant protection, according to which terminations due to own need are linked to strict conditions. In emergency situations, the tenant can only apply to the court for an extension of the lease.

Where can I stay temporarily?

My life partner comes from a southern culture and has much more temperament. She's not as hard-drinking, but likes to have a few drinks when she's partying with friends. They are always private and soon the party will be at our place. I do not fit all there. This in combination with alcohol has already led to aggression and violence. Where could I stay temporarily? I can't afford a hotel and my friends laugh at me when I tell them that.

Of course. We have also provided the Family and Fathers' House for this purpose. You are welcome to contact us. You can find the contact details here on the homepage at under the tab living.


My partner beats me

My partner and I have been together for several years. Since about three years she drinks more alcohol at home. She then becomes quite grumpy, insults me, abuses me and at some point throws dishes or something else around and has even hit me. Once I tried to hold her and calm her down. But she got angrier and angrier, shouted out and made out until the children woke up. Then I went to them and closed the door. Then she left me alone. The next morning she was sorry for everything ... until the next time.

It is well known that men beat women. When it comes to the reverse, my colleagues just laugh, they have no idea. This is simply unbelievable and unbearable! What can I do?

You are not alone. The number of beaten men is greater than many think. But because hardly anyone talks about it, it is a taboo. Unfortunately.

Your wife - and you - need help. Talk about it, with each other, with friends, with your parents, with us or in therapy. In this way you break the taboo around you and you get important support. This gives you strength for the future! Take the initiative. Go out with your partner, e.g. for dinner. Tell her that you love her - but you do not accept the beating and the psychological terror. Tell her that you need help and that you don't want to discuss whether yes or no. You do, however, want to determine with her what kind of support you will get.

We are happy to support you in our coaching for couples and to look at possible solutions with you in more detail.

For this section, "Vordermann" served as a template.
Thank you for your trust in us and we are wishing you further success in everything you do.