Rights of Spouses after separation and after issuance of the divorce in Cyprus
As soon as the cohabitation of spouses is terminated, the Court may, at the request of the spouse, issue a Decree of alimony ordering the other spouse to pay alimony to the applicant.
The claim is personal and non-transferable. It is a prerequisite that the couple is married.
Alimony ceases with the dissolution of the marriage. This means that the death of a spouse which brings about the dissolution of the marriage also leads to the cessation of the obligation to pay alimony.
In case of dissolution of the marriage, there is the right (based on the discretion of the Family Court) of the Spouse to request a specific form of Alimony named “Post-divorce” Alimony.
Post divorce Alimony has a moral character and its purpose is to aid the ex-spouse who is in need of support. It is ordered by the Court for reasons of leniency.
Post-divorce Alimony may be excluded or restricted if this is required for important reasons, in particular in case the marriage has been for a limited duration or in case the beneficiary is liable for the termination of the marriage or for terminating the cohabitation then this type of alimony is restricted.
Post divorce alimony ceases as soon as the beneficiary remarries or permanently cohabitates with another person in a free union.
2. RIGHT OF EXCLUSIVE USE OF THE FAMILY HOME
In the event of termination of the cohabitation or in case of divorce proceedings, the Family Court may, at the request of one of the spouses, in case that it is equitable or in case the interests of the children so require, may grant the exclusive use of all or part of the family home irrespective of ownership.
Granting of the exclusive use of the family home can be achieved before the divorce and after the separation.
3. USE OF MOVABLES
Each of the spouses is entitled to receive the movables belonging to him or her even if they were used by both spouses. However, s/he is obliged to provide the other spouse with the use of the household items that are absolutely necessary for living separately if this is required for reasons of equity.
4. PARTICIPATION IN THE MARITAL PROPERTY
In case the marriage is dissolved or in case of separation of the spouses and the property of one spouse has increased, the other spouse, as long as s/he has contributed in any way to this increase, is entitled to sue in court and demand the return of part of the increase which is attributable to his own contribution.
The contribution of one spouse to the increase of the other’s property is presumed to be one third of the increase unless a larger or smaller contribution is proved.
If neither a larger or smaller contribution has been proved, then a rebuttable presumption stated in article 14(2) of Law 232/91 applies.Under this presumption, in case there is an increase of the spouse’s property due to:
(a) Donation, inheritance or other gratuitous cause.
(b) With the disposal of property acquired with the reasons mentioned in paragraph (a) above
That is not taken into account.
Limitation of Actions for Marital Property
The claim for participation in the marital property is barred three years after the dissolution or annulment of the marriage.
However, for the purposes of the Law, any counterclaim shall be considered as starting to run from the date the initial case has been filed.
Loss of the right to sue and reduction of the amount of the claim.
The Court may not award any amount to the Applicant’s spouse or reduce the amount to which s/he is entitled under the same article in case s/he has left the spouse without reasonable cause or omitted to maintain it.
This provision has never been implemented in practice and has never been decided by the Second Instance Court or its constitutionality judged by the Supreme Court. However, in a first instance decision concerning the creation of an extramarital affair, it was stated that:
“For the purposes of this article, the Court shall take into account the other spouse’s conduct towards the plaintiff. In this case, the mutual suspicion, as I have mentioned before, had consistently shaken the marital relationship of the parties.
It doesn’t matter if the spouse is to blame or not. ”
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 email@example.com or Mr. Evripides Hadjinestoros at firstname.lastname@example.org.