Family Law Disputes
Cyprus family law regulates the marital status of a couple, child custody issues, childcare and support and also property disputes after divorce. If you are looking for a Family Law lawyer in Cyprus you are in the right place. Our law firm has a team that specializes in this area of law and we also provide affordable prices for our clients.
Cyprus family courts have exclusive jurisdiction to determine petitions for divorce, custody of children, maintenance, support and property disputes. In order to ensure that your procedures will be done in a proper way and without delay you need to choose the lawyers that will represent you very carefully. Family court decisions are life changing and they may destroy you life forever. In this article we will briefly provide a few information about Family disputes.
Divorce – Dissolution of marriage:
So first of all i will explain what is the difference between divorce and dissolution of marriage.
Divorce refers to enlisting the court’s help to end your marriage. A dissolution of marriage, on the other hand, is an agreement between you and your spouse on how to resolve issues arising after the couple’s decision to end their marriage such as child custody and property division, without a judge intervening.
So let’s start with the procedure of divorce. The petition for divorce can be filed by any of the spouses and even if they haven’t married in Cyprus and they are not Cypriot Citizens. There is only one condition in order for the Cypriot court to have jurisdiction to try your case:
At least one of the spouses must live in Cyprus for at least three months before he/she file the petition.
What information is included on the petition we file to Court:
- Facts of the case
- Name of parties
- Date of marriage
- Address of residence
- Information about family (if they have children together)
The central part of the petition that the Court will consider are the reasons of the divorce and which of the spouses has the higher percentage of liability that led to the marriage ending. These information need to be proven in court and that one of the main reasons you need a good lawyer. In most of the cases there are not a lot of witnesses that can confirm sensitive information like that so the court makes a decision based on which side can convince the court on their allegations.
Spouses may also be equally liable for the divorce usually when no specific incident has taken place (e.g. cheating) and the marriage has come to an end by acts of both spouses. In case the court decide that one of the spouses is liable then he/she will be have to pay for the trial cost and also for the legal fees of your Lawyer, means that the money you have paid to your lawyer will be compensated. If court’s decision is that both parties are liable then each party will pay its expenses.
After the petition is filed:
The court will set a date for the first hearing. The divorce petition is served to the other spouse so that he/she can be present to the first hearing or appoint a lawyer. If one of the spouses decides that he/she don’t want to appear in the first hearing or appoint a lawyer to appear on their behalf, then the case will be tried on their absence and if petition allegations are proven, the divorce is issued without a chance to defend the petition by the party that haven’t showed up. Also the absent party will have to pay trial cost and legal fees of the other party.
Tip: That’s why is very important to make sure that your lawyers is responsible and has the legal qualifications and knowledge to defend/draft the petition properly.
Recent amendments on Family law procedures and rules allow applicant to prove his/her petition without giving verbal evidence in the courtroom. He/she needs only to sign an affidavit confirming the reasons for the divorce petition. The divorce will be issued if the other party doesn’t submit a written defense. If written defense is submitted the court will proceed to trial.
Tip: The other party may agree with the reasons of the petition and not wish to appoint a lawyer.
Dissolution of marriage
Our law firm always suggests a friendly settlement between the two parties and to issue the divorce without a trial. Lawyers of the parties can meet and discuss about the case and reach to a settlement that benefits both spouses.
Children custody and communication:
Most common issue after a divorce or dissociation, is that one parent will have the children’s custody and the other parent will have the right to adequate communication with the children (this right can be restricted under circumstances). After divorce one of the parent needs to file a petition again, and court will decide which parent will take the custody and will regulate the right of communication to the other parent. Parent can agree on these matters and the court will issue an order that will specify the right of communication (days and time the parent will be able to contact/see the children).
If the parents cannot reach an agreement on the issues stated above, the court proceedings will continue through the written positions of both parties. Afterward, the Court will come up with a final decision bearing in mind the opinions of the parties as well as the Local Welfare’s Office Report. The Local Welfare Office will assign an employee of theirs to visit the home of each parent to prepare a report for the Court proceedings regarding the living conditions of the parents and child/children. The report will also be based on the opinion of children regarding, for example, with whom of the parents they want to stay with.
Childcare and custody (Financial Support)
According to Cyprus Family Law the parents are undoubtedly and inseparably responsible for the child/children’s maintenance up to the age of 18.
The parent who has the childcare and custody following a Court decision is entitled to claim child maintenance for the minor children from the other parent. The claim stated above must be filed through a petition at the District Family Court, where the children live.
The court considering the needs of the child/children and the income of each parent separately and jointly determines the child maintenance amount. Both parents must contribute to their child/children’s maintenance based on their income and financial needs and expenses (higher the income, higher the level on contribution). The support may be agreed upon between the parties, and then a Court order can be issued. However, if the parents do not agree on the above, the Court, through legal proceedings, decides on the amount of maintenance and issues a court order.
After the family court order, the parent is obliged to pay the maintenance amount to his/her child/children. Otherwise, the other parent can claim an arrest warrant against him/her. Adult children also have a right to maintenance if they are students. In this case, however, they must file a new petition at the District Family Court against the parent from whom they are requesting the maintenance. Children financial needs must be proven as well as if they are students.
When financial support is urgent for the children, parent can file un urgent petition (ex-parte) without giving notice to the other parent. This option is available only if the parent who has maintenance obligation is not providing any financial support.
Any property acquired by the spouses during the first cohabitation with a prospect of marriage as well as during their marriage is a common property of the spouses (both of them have property rights). It can be distributed through filing a petition at the Court.
Each spouse will receive a part of the property/properties/assets according to the financial contribution of each spouse separately to the acquisition of this property. Also the contribution can be of other nature not only financial. Regarding the distribution of the common property of the spouses, the Court will consider the value of the property on the day of the separation of the spouses.
Any of the spouses can file this petition and the petition must be served to the other party. Spouses will first try to reach an agreement but if they are not able to do so the court will decide based on parties’ written positions.
Which property is not common: Any property that each of them owned before his or her cohabitation with a prospect of marriage is and remains their own property. Also any property acquired by the spouses through a donation from their parents is and remains their property.
How we can assist:
We are specialized family Law lawyers in Cyprus and speak fluently English, Greek and Russian.
Drafting petitions on any of the above mentioned matters
Represent / defend petitions on any of the above mentioned matters
Represent you in discussions for a friendly settlement
Giving legal advice on any Family Law related matter