PUBLICATIONS 

Family Law in Cyprus and the opinion of the Children in Cases of Child Custody

When children are involved during the process of divorce or separation in Cyprus, the courts will have to decide on Parental Responsibility issues under Cyprus Family Law. Parental Responsibility is the jurisdiction of the court to decide on matters relating to:

  • The Physical Custody of the Child, i.e. with whom does the child reside.
  • The Legal Custody of the Child, i.e. who makes everyday decisions on behalf of the child.
  • Communication with the Child, i.e. in case one parent gets physical custody, the other parent will be able to communicate.
  • Maintenance of the Child, i.e. the parent who has Physical Custody of the child will wish that the other parent contributes financially to the upbringing of the child.

Family law in Cyprus when dealing with matters of Parental Responsibility is not adversary in nature but inquisitorial. The opinion of the children is taken into account by both the Social Welfare Services as well as the Family Court.

In the process of applying for parental responsibility, there is no element of confrontation between the parties. It is a process of examination, where the ultimate purpose is to serve the welfare and interests of the minor.

As has been at times reiterated by the Cyprus Family Courts:

The highest principle that the Court should apply in such cases is the welfare of the minor

Appointing the Social Welfare Services

Preparation of an official report by the Social Welfare Services is mandatory before a judgement is issued on matters affecting Parental Responsibility. The report must provide the necessary information to the Cyprus Family Court, in order to assist the court in reaching its decision.

Under the Family Law in Cyprus, whenever an application is made to the court relating to the children then the Court must appoint the Social Welfare Services.

The Social Welfare Services investigate as fully as possible all the circumstances relating to the proposed order for the purpose of safeguarding the interests of the minors before the Court. Furthermore, they must file their report to the Court.

The duties of the Social Welfare Services under the Family Law in Cyprus

Under the Family Law in Cyprus, the Social Welfare Services must conduct an inquiry into the matters concerning any assertion made in the application or which are related to such application. This is in case, in the opinion of the Social Welfare Services, these matters may assist the Court in deciding whether the applicant will be awarded physical custody of the children.

The Social Welfare Office may also conduct an interview of the applicant or the respondent (or any other person mentioned in the application) for the purposes of filing this report. The persons interviewed include the children.

The Report prepared, must explain the basis upon which those recommendations have been made, including the reasons for and against those recommendations.

Duties of the Court

In the context of the procedure carried out by the court, it is the duty of the court to ensure that such a report, prepared by the Social Welfare Services is filed to it. Without it, it cannot decide on the physical custody and parental care of the minor. In the book Bromley’s Family Law, 10th Edn, page 490, it is stated that:

Once appointed reporters or welfare officers are generally expected to investigate the circumstances of the child or children concerned and the important figures in their lives with a view to providing the court with factual information on which to make a decision.

The Court will also conduct an interview of the children. Family Law in Cyprus makes it obligatory to take the minor’s opinion if its maturity makes it possible to form an opinion. This is significant given that it reveals the child’s happiness and progress.

As the child grows older and becomes more independent, then its opinion becomes more important.

Irrespective that it is at the age of 18 that a person is totally free, freedom is part of a person’s personality even at a younger age when he or she is able to form an opinion. The fact that the performance of the children at school is low, does not mean that they cannot form an opinion – provided of course that they have a good upbringing and development.

This article is given for information purposes only and it does not constitute legal advice. For further information and advice please contact Mrs. Maria Skarpari  at skarpari@dhadjinestoros.com

 You may visit our Main Family Law Page Here.

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. She has also vast experience in negotiations, litigation and banking and finance law.

Frequently Asked Questions on Cyprus Family Law

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, although there are circumstances where the husband will be allowed custody. As a matter of course, the other parent will be allowed communication with the children 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, rent, phone and internet bills, shoes and clothes as well as doctor’s fees. You can find out more by visiting this page.

Related News and Insights

Family Disputes in Cyprus – My Rights!
Rights of Spouses after separation and after issuance of the divorce in Cyprus
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