Family Law

Our Legal Team has specialization on the Family Law Matters, with long and high expertise on all legal matters relating to the family law such as divorce, financial issues, child custody, domestic violence, adoption.

Regarding the dissolution of a civil marriage a spouse can apply at the Family Court to issue a divorce. Where there is a religious marriage the spouse who wishes the dissolution of the marriage must send a notification to the Bishop, or the religion’s leader of its recognised by the Law religion group, stating the reason that leaded to the decision of the divorce. The divorce petition can be filled only after the elapsed of a three month period from the time when the Bishop (or the religious leader) had received the notification (Law No.22/1990 and Law No.87(I)/1994).  A ground for divorce by the law can be the irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship which makes the continuance of the marriage intolerable for the applicant. Reasons for the irretrievable breakdown can be the following: abandonment, an attempt against the life of the applicant by the respondent, bigamy, adultery and violence. (article 27(2) and 27(3) Law No.104(I)/2003, appendix A Law No.87(I)/1994, article 14(a) Law No.23/1990).

Another ground for divorce is the continuous separation for a period of four years which constitutes an irrevocable presumption that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship. In that case the marriage is dissolved regardless whether the reason leading to the irretrievable breakdown is attributed solely to the applicant (article 27(3) Law No.104(I)/2003, appendix A Law No.87(I)/1994, article 14(a) Law No.23/1990).

Moreover, the abandonment of the applicant and the change of sex of the respondent are also independent grounds for divorce (article 27(4) Law No.104(I)/2003).

If the couple belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church there are more grounds for dissolution of the marriage regarding to the article 111 2B of the Constitution and the article 27(2) Law No.104(I)/2003. The grounds for dissolution of the marriage regarding the above mention law articles are
the following: inter alia, infidelity, immoral or disgraceful behavior, insanity and disappearance. In case of spouses belonging to one of the three religious groups then the marriage can also be dissolved for the reasons listed in Law No.87(I)/1994 (e.g infidelity, violence against the applicant, disappearance, insanity).

Another issue that comes up in cases of the separation of the spouses is the claim of the matrimonial home. Cyprus law permits a spouse to apply for the exclusive use of the matrimonial home in case of separation and regardless of who owns the home. The Court takes into account the special circumstances of each spouse, the welfare of the children, the violent behaviour of the respondent spouse if exists.

The parental care is exercised jointly by the parents of the child. When there is a dissolution of a marriage the parties can apply to the Court in order for the Court to decide regarding the parental care. The parties can agree regarding the parental care of the children as well. Furthermore, the court shall consider the child’s wishes provided that he/she is mature (article 6 and 7 Law No.216/1990). Particularly the court may assign parental care to one parent or to both or even to a guardian. The decisions made by the parents or by the Court should aim at the best interests of the child. The Court will take into account the child’s relationship with each parent and his brothers/sisters and the existence of any agreement between the parents in relation to the custody of the child (article 14 and 15 Law No.216/1990).

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