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Our Legal Department specialises in issues related to Family Law and has a long and high expertise in this field. We undertake a wide range of family related matters, such as Divorce Proceedings, Property Disputes, Financial issues, Child Custody/Parental Care, Domestic Violence, Adoption, Matrimonial Home, Alimony Payments, Communication of a parent with his/her Child, and more.
When a Civil Marriage is dissolved, a spouse can apply to the Family Court for the issue of a Court Divorce Order. For religious marriages, the spouse who wishes the dissolution of the marriage shall send a notice to the Bishop, or the religious leader of the recognized by Law Religion Group, stating the reason that led the couple to the Divorce. The petition to the Court may be filled only after a three-month period has elapsed from the time of service of the said notice to the Bishop pursuant to the Law No.22/1990 and the Law No.87(I)/1994. One of the most common legal grounds for a Divorce is the irretrievable Breakdown of the Marital Relationship, and some of the reasons that lead a spouse feel that the marriage is over are the following:
Abandonment, an Attempt against the life of the applicant by the respondent, Bigamy, Adultery and Violence and Loss of emotional affection as stated in article 27(2) and 27(3) of the Law No.104(I)/2003, appendix A of the Law No.87(I)/1994, article 14(a) of the Law No.23/1990).
Another legal ground for divorce is a couple’s separation for a period of four continuous years which leads to an irrevocable presumption that the marital relationship has suffered an irretrievable breakdown. In such case, the marriage is dissolved although the irretrievable breakdown is attributed solely to the applicant as in article 27(3) of the Law No.104(I)/2003, appendix A of the Law No.87(I)/1994, article 14(a) of the Law No.23/1990).
If both spouses are Greek Orthodox, there are more grounds for the marriage’s dissolution based on the article 111 2B of the Constitution and the article 27(2) of the Law No.104(I)/2003. Inter alia, these grounds include infidelity, immoral or disgraceful behaviour, insanity, and disappearance. If any of the spouses belongs to one of the other three religious groups of Cyprus, the marriage can be dissolved for the reasons listed in Law No.87(I)/1994 (i.e. infidelity, violence against the applicant, disappearance, insanity).
In divorce cases, the claim of the Matrimonial Home is one of the most usual issues that emerges between the spouses. Pursuant to the Cyprus law, a spouse has the right to apply for the Exclusive Use of the matrimonial home. The Cyprus Court always takes into consideration the personal circumstances of each spouse, the welfare of the children, the behavior of the respondent, and other parameters.
CHILD CUSTODY/PARENTAL CARE
When a marriage is dissolved, parental care is exercised jointly by both parents or they can apply to Court for the issue of a judgement regulating a Child’s Custody and/or Parental Care. The parties may come to a mutual agreement as well regarding the parental care of their children. Further, the court shall take into consideration a child’s wishes provided that the child is mature enough to express such wishes as per article 6 and 7 of the Law No.216/1990), therefore, the Court may assign the parental care to one of the parents or to both parents, or even to a guardian. The decisions made by either the parents or the Court shall aim solely at the best interest of the child. The Court shall consider the child’s relationship with each parent and with his siblings and any agreement between the parents related to a child’s custody as in article 14 and 15 of the Law No.216/1990.
Under the Family Law, any parent can apply to Court for Communication with his/her child, if he/she does not have access or contact with his child for various reasons.
Alimony Payment is the obligation of one spouse - and not necessarily of the husband, the wife may be liable as well - to pay an alimony for the financial support of the child to the other spouse.
If an Alimony is issued under a Court Order and the respondent fails to comply, a petition shall be filed to Court. Thus, the Court shall order the respondent to present to the Family Court and provide reasonable reason of non-compliance, while he/she shall be liable to arrest under a warrant. The incorporation of the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of the Child is compulsory in all judicial processes.