Family Law in Cyprus

D. Hadjinestoros & Co LLC covers all areas of Family Law in Cyprus

Areas of Practice

We cover all areas of Family Law in Cyprus

D. Hadjinestoros & Co LLC has over 30 years of expertise in the area of Family Law in Cyprus. We Know That Family Disputes Are Emotionally Consuming And Distressing. They Do Not Only Involve Personal Relationships Breaking Down But They Are Often Emotionally Challenging For Children.

Divorce in Cyprus

We approach Family Law in Cyprus with both legal and humanitarian eyes. We know that the marital breakdown has financial implications on the spouses as they may need to move out from the family home, share the marital assets and pay for the maintenance of the children every month.

Distressing situations will usually blur the thinking process often resulting in erroneous decisions taking place on both sides. The outcome of Cyprus family law proceedings often depends on the side making the least mistakes. For this reason, at D. Hadjinestoros & Co LLC we strive to advise our clients from the beginning of the breakdown of marital relationships until the end focusing both on the outcome as well as the least emotionally distressing path to get there.

We litigate on your behalf on all aspects of family law in Cyprus such as divorce proceedings, child custody and maintenance proceedings, injunctions, property disputes and adoptions.In addition, we liaise on behalf of our clients with the Office of the Commissioner for Children’s Rights, where it is deemed necessary in the best interests of a child involved.

Below we mention some of the family law procedures in Cyprus which we are able to help you with.

Our Services as Divorce Lawyers

  • Divorce in Cyprus

    We can assist you in filing or defending Cyprus divorce proceedings.

  • Exclusive use of the family home

    We can act for applications relating to the exclusive use of the whole or part of the family home.

  • Alimony

    If you are a spouse who cannot secure enough for your basic needs we can assist you by filing an Alimony application.

  • Child Parental Care Applications

    We can apply or defend parental care applications – i.e. who of the parents will be responsible for the child after the separation or divorce in Cyprus

  • Child Custody Applications

    Child Custody is one of the most important issues during a divorce. Our lawyers can help you in fighting for your child’s custody.

  • Child Maintenance

    Support of the child is paramount – provided it is correctly calculated.

  • Property Disputes

    Our lawyers will assist you on getting hold or defending what property belongs to you.

  • Adoptions

    We can assist you with your child adoption application.

Key People

Maria Skarpari Senior Associate
Maria Skarpari has over 25 years of experience in family law representing hundreds of clients in the Cyprus Family Courts.

We have acted as Divorce Lawyers in Cyprus both for applicants as well as defendants. Experience is key to Cyprus Family Law.

1

Divorce in Cyprus

The initiation of a divorce in Cyprus depends on whether the Marriage was religious or civil. If the marriage was religious then the process of the divorce begins by sending a notification to the Archbishop.  After the passing of three months  from posting the notification, the applicant may apply for a divorce. In case the reason for the divorce is insanity of the spouse or due to the disappearance of the spouse then the specific notification need not be sent.

Appointing a Divorce Lawyer in Cyprus is usually for the best. This is because the divorce is usually the initial stage of a legal battle between the spouses.We note that it is only the Family Court which can grant a divorce in Cyprus.

For a Divorce in Cyprus to be initiated when the marriage is a civil one, there is no need to proceed with sending a notification. Under Cyprus Family Law, there are two grounds of Divorce in Cyprus based on the deterioration of the marital relationship causing an irretrievable breakdown.

A. Serious Breakdown of the Relationship

  1. Facts showing a serious breakdown of the relationship,
  2. Bigamy,
  3. Adultery,
  4. Immoral or dishonourable or other repetitive unforgiveable behaviour causing a breakdown of the relationship to such a degree that the relationship is no longer bearable by the Applicant
  5. Imposition of how the applicant should live his life
  6. Violence caused by the respondent.

B. Continuous Separation of the Spouses for at least 4 Years

If there is continuous separation for 4 years, then the courts grant divorce as a matter of course. Continuous separation, gives rise to the  irrebuttable presumption that there is a serious breakdown of the marital relationship.

In both these instances, the divorce may be issued as caused by the fault of the respondent or by the fault of both spouses.

In the event of death of either of the spouses a divorce in Cyprus is automatic (as a matter of law).

Filing proceedings for Divorce in Cyprus

We can act on behalf of the client as divorce lawyers by filing the divorce application at the Family Court. To file the application we will need the Marriage Certificate and the reasons which led to the divorce. Then, we serve the  divorce application to the respondent. The respondent will either contest the divorce by appointing a Cyprus divorce lawyer or appear himself. The defendant may also decide to leave the application uncontested. If that is the case, then a divorce application will be examined by the Court without the participation of the respondent. .

In case the parties are unhappy with the divorce order, then they can appeal.

What are the legal consequences of a divorce in Cyprus

A divorce in Cyprus does not bring any changes in the names of the spouses. As a result, the wife’s surname does not automatically change as she will need to sign an affidavit to change her surname.

Furthermore, and contrary to common belief, the divorce does not bring any legal consequences on the marital assets or to issues of alimony, maintenance and custody of the children. Under Cyprus Family Law, separate applications are required to determine issues relating to alimony, the children and the share in the matrimonial assets. Such applications are filed in the Family Courts of Cyprus.

2

Application for exclusive use of the whole or part of the family home pending proceedings for divorce in Cyprus

A rather drastic measure is an application to the court to secure the use of the family home pending proceedings for divorce in Cyprus.

Under Cyprus Family Law, there are three occasions which allow a spouse the exclusive use of the family home:

Yes check.svg  The termination of the cohabitation between the spouses or

Yes check.svg  The sending of a notification for the dissolution of the marriage to the Archbishop or

Yes check.svg  In the event of a petition for a divorce in Cyprus

Furthermore, the Family Court may, at the request of one of the spouses and taking into account the circumstances grant exclusive use of the family home. This may be exclusive as to the whole or part of the family home. This is irrespective of who the owner of the property is.

The Court does not take into account the fact that the property belongs to a third party. Finally under Cyprus Family Law with the granting of the divorce the order of exclusive use of the Matrimonial Home ceases.

Example:

Maria, represented by her divorce lawyer in Cyprus, has issued proceedings for divorce in a Cyprus Family Court against her husband, John. Both spouses and their children live in the family home which belongs to John’s mother. Under Cyprus Family Law, the Court may issue an order which allows Maria to live in the Family Home until the divorce is granted.

3

Alimony in Cyprus

Alimony is a monthly payment by one of the spouses to the other in order to support him/her. In case of separation, Cyprus Family Law recognises that one of the spouses may apply to the Family Court for alimony. This is only where the spouse applying for Alimony cannot secure food from his/her property or income. Alimony may be obtained in four separate occasions. The first two are applicable after a divorce in Cyprus is issued whilst the others can be applied for after the separation. The occasions are the following:

Yes check.svg  If at the time of the divorce in Cyprus is issued, the spouse is at an age or state of health which does not allow him/her to begin or continue to exercise a profession, in order to secure sustenance or

Yes check.svg  In any other case, after the divorce in Cyprus is issued, provided that it is fair under the circumstances or

Yes check.svg  In cases of physical or mental disability of the child making it unable to practice a suitable profession. If the spouse has obtained custody of such a minor or an adult child or another person dependent on him/her,  or

Yes check.svg  If the spouse cannot find a suitable job or if the spouse needs some vocational training prior to finding a suitable job. In both cases this period cannot exceed three years from the date of the divorce being issued.

The obligation to pay alimony in Cyprus is on both spouses. The spouse with the smallest contribution in the cost of living can request alimony from the spouse with the biggest contribution. In order to assess the needs of the beneficiary spouse, all of the circumstances are taken into account including the conditions as they existed during the marital cohabitation, but at the same time any new needs due to the separation.

The obligation for alimony may be excluded for important reasons, as a result, if a marriage is short in duration this will usually exclude alimony.

4

Parental Care, Child Custody and Communication in Cyprus

Child Support aside, in relation to children after a divorce (or separation) in Cyprus, Family Courts, on application by the spouses, issue the following decrees.

Parental care in Cyprus includes the determination of the name, its custody and the administration of the property. It also includes the representation of the minor in cases or legal acts concerning that minor or it’s property. From birth onwards, the parents jointly exercise Parental Care in Cyprus. In case of a divorce in Cyprus (or separation between the spouses) it is the Court which regulates parental care. It will assign it to one or both of the parents or to a third party. Assigning parental care to both parents is the norm. In each case the benefit of the minor is paramount.

Child Custody in Cyprus, is the second type of decree. This relates to which of the parents retains the custody of the minor (this will usually be the mother). Given that one of the parents is granted the custody of the child, then the other parent can communicate with the child. This is called the Communications decree. It allows the parent not having custody, to communicate with the child on specific days of the week and for a specific period of time (which may include a provision for the child to stay with the parent overnight).

D. Hadjinestoros & Co LLC – we are the Cyprus Divorce Lawyers you can trust as we can deal with all matters and issues relating to your divorce, child related decrees and matrimonial property disputes.

5

Child Support in Cyprus

Under Cyprus Family Law the courts will grant child support to the parent who has custody of the child. This is only reasonable as the parent with the custody bears all expenses relating to the child. Therefore, this parent will apply to the court for child support (or child maintenance). There are two age groups which can benefit from child support:

 

Yes check.svg Minors under the age of 18. In granting child support, the court takes into account all the circumstances. These include the standard of living of the child and the financial means of the parents. It also includes the capability of the parents to work and earn a salary.

Yes check.svg Adult Children over the age of 18. As a result, such children can file their own application for child support. The Court will grant child support if the child is a soldier serving in the army or is a university student in two cases. Firstly, the child must be a good student. Secondly, s/he must maintain a good relationship with the parent who will provide the support.

Typical expenses taken into account in child support disputes in Cyprus are the following:

  • Food supplies
  • Water and Electricity bill
  • Municipal taxes
  • Phone and Internet
  • Transportation expenses
  • Rent
  • Shoes and Clothes
  • Doctor’s fees
  • Out of school lessons
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Entertainment and pocket money
  • Self-Care

6

Division of the Matrimonial Property in Case of a Divorce in Cyprus

In case of separation or divorce in Cyprus the other spouse can claim part of the property. This is only if two conditions are met. Firstly that the property of one of the spouses has increased during the course of marriage. Secondly that the other spouse has contributed to this increase. In such a case the contributing spouse can request the part of the increase which comes from his/her own contribution. Under Cyprus Family Law there is a presumption that the other spouse can obtain 1/3 of the increase. This is unless a greater or a lesser contribution is proved. Therefore, the spouse whose property has increased in value, will usually wish to disprove this presumption.

The courts take into account many factors as showing contribution. Most noteworthy as constituting contribution are personal guarantees or mortgages by one of the spouses for the other’s benefit.

In relation to the increase in the property, there are some rules which deserve special mention:

  1. Increase in the property means the movable and immovable property acquired at specific instances in time. These are at any time after the marriage or even before marriage, provided the prospect of marriage existed. Therefore no proportion of property acquired prior to the prospect of marriage may be claimed by the other spouse.
  2. Importantly, the Courts ignore any increase in the property which occurs due to a donation, inheritance, bequest or gift. Nor is the product of a donation, inheritance, bequest or gift counted in the division of the matrimonial property.

Furthermore, Cyprus Family Law, unlike other jurisdictions, does not recognise prenuptial agreements and it considers them void. After the separation the parties may however make an agreement on how their matrimonial property disputes may be settled.

What happens if the property belonging to one of the spouses is unknown to the other? The Court in such cases has wide powers to order disclosure of the assets by the other spouse. A failure to disclose means contempt and may be punished by imprisonment.

With vast experience as Divorce Lawyers in Cyprus, we understand that proceedings relating to children are distressing to all involved. Our experienced Cyprus lawyers can help you through this difficult time by explaining how to overcome the hurdles. Confidentiality is always our priority.

7

Adoption under Family Law in Cyprus

Under Cyprus Family Law, responsible for adoption procedures in Cyprus are the Social Welfare Services. The family court approves an adoption and therefore it is better to appoint a lawyer in Cyprus to assist you.

This information does not constitute legal advice. For a free, confidential consultation with a specialist in this area you can contact us.

News and Insights

Family Disputes in Cyprus – My Rights!
Rights of Spouses after separation and after issuance of the divorce in Cyprus
Family Law in Cyprus and the opinion of the Children in Cases of Child Custody
Procedure for Divorce in Cyprus
Divorce in Cyprus for spouses residing outside Cyprus
Family Law (Property Disputes) in Cyprus
Family Law (Divorce) in Cyprus
Family Law (Child Custody and Maintenance Proceedings) in Cyprus

Frequently Asked Questions on Cyprus Family Law

Is a Divorce lawyer required for filing a divorce in Cyprus?

It is not necessary to appoint a lawyer to file a divorce in Cyprus. However, given the complexity of the pleadings as well as the legal issues surrounding the divorce, it is advisable to appoint a lawyer.

Is Family Mediation available in Cyprus?

Although a legal framework is applicable relating to Family Mediation under Cyprus Family Law, specific regulations relating to Cyprus Family Mediation are still under way. Therefore currently, the only legal channel is through the Cyprus Family Courts.

How do I obtain a divorce in Cyprus?

A divorce in Cyprus can be obtained through the Cyprus Family Courts based on reasons such as the serious breakdown of the relationship.

What are the legal consequences of a divorce in Cyprus?

A divorce in Cyprus does not bring any changes in the name of the spouses – the wife’s surname does not automatically change and it will remain so until she follows another official procedure to change her surname. The divorce does not bring any legal consequences on the marital assets, alimony, maintenance and custody of the children. Under Cyprus Family Law, separate applications in the Court are required to determine any issues relating to alimony, the children and the share in the matrimonial assets.

Is a prenuptial agreement recognised in Cyprus?

No, a prenuptial agreement is not recognised in Cyprus, but after separation the couple may decide on how their property will be legally separated between them through an agreement.

Is a divorce required prior to filing an application for child custody, maintenance or to resolve property disputes?

No, under Cyprus Family Law, your rights to file applications for all the above begin after separation, therefore there is no need to wait for the divorce before you determine those issues.

Who gets the custody of the children in case of a divorce in Cyprus?

Under Cyprus Family Law only one of the parents will get the custody of the children. In practice that means usually the wife. There are however circumstances where the husband will be allowed custody. As a matter of course, the other parent will be allowed communication with the children. This will be for some periods during the week.

How is child support calculated under Cyprus Family Law?

Under Cyprus Family Law, child Support in Cyprus is given to the parent who has been granted custody of the child. Typical expenses calculated for child support are food supplies, water and electricity bills. Also the court will take into account rent, phone and internet bills, shoes and clothes as well as doctor’s fees. You can find out more by visiting this page.

For a free, confidential consultation on your family law dispute, you can contact us by phone, email or through the online form:

T: (+357) 22510165       F: (+357) 22318214    |    E: office@dhadjinestoros.com

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