Federal Office of Justice

International Maintenance Matters


Persons entitled to maintenance in Switzerland have the right to support from the authorities in enforcing their claims for maintenance if a person required to pay them maintenance fails to do so.

A variety of agreements cover the recovery of unpaid maintenance from persons living abroad, providing a bridge from the legal system of one country to that of the other.

The most important is the UN Convention of 20 June 1956 on the recovery abroad of maintenance (The New York Convention). This Convention has been ratified by around 65 countries.

Cooperation between states is regulated by setting up transmitting and receiving agencies (Central Authorities) in the countries concerned.

Contact points
The central authority for international maintenance matters accepts applications relating to international requests from the relevant cantonal authorities and applications from abroad (transmitting agencies of the contracting states) that are to be forwarded to the cantonal authorities.

Applicants are requested not to make direct contact with the central authority.

People living in Switzerland should contact:
People living abroad should contact:
Federal Office of Justice
Central authority for international maintenance matters
Bundesrain 20
CH-3003 Berne
T +41 58 464 80 48, F +41 58 462 42 79