Divorce by mutual consent
"If spouses apply for divorce together and if they submit a full agreement on the consequences of the divorce with the required proof and with joint requests with regard to the children, the court will hear them jointly and separately; if the court is convinced that the application for divorce and the agreement are based on free will and extensive consideration, the agreement can probably be authorised." (ZGB art. 111, para. 1+2)
"If, after a two-month consideration period following the hearing, both spouses confirm in writing their desire to divorce and their agreement, the court will pronounce the divorce decree and authorise the agreement." (ZGB art. 111, para. 1+2)
"The spouses can apply for divorce together and state that they wish the court to issue a decision on the disputed consequences of the divorce." (ZGB art. 112, para. 1)
As in the case of the comprehensive agreement on the desire to divorce, the court hears the couple on the consequences of the divorce they have agreed on and on their statement that the remaining consequences are to be judged by the court.
Each spouse makes request with regard to the disputed consequences of the divorce and the court decides hereupon in the divorce judgement. (ZGB art. 112, para. 1-3)
Switch to contested divorce
If the court reaches the decision that the preconditions for divorce based on mutual consent have not been met, it gives each spouse a deadline in which to replace divorce by mutual consent with a contested divorce. (ZGB art. 113)
3. Contested divorce
A spouse can apply for divorce if the spouses have been living separately for at least two years when the case goes to court or at the time of a switch to a contested divorce. (ZGB art. 114)
Before the two-year deadline has expired, a spouse can apply for divorce if s/he cannot be expected to remain in the marriage because of serious reasons that are not his/her fault. One party to a marriage may ask for a divorce prior to the end of the two year period in case she/he cannot be expected to remain within wedlock any longer due to grave problems beyond the appealing party's control. (ZGB art. 115)
Based on precedents there is no clear-cut definition so far for "grave problems", the courts as a consequence decide on a case-by-case basis.
If a spouse applies for divorce after living separately or because of unreasonableness, and if the other spouse agrees expressly or lodges a counter petition, the provisions pertaining to divorce by mutual consent apply accordingly. (ZGB art. 116)