Latest amendments in Family Law
By: Michael Chambers & Co LLC
On the 23rd of December 2022, the amendment of the Attempted Reconciliation and Spiritual Resolution of Marriage Law (22/1990) and on the 13th of January 2023, the amendment of the Law on Marriage (104(I)/2003), as well as the amendment of the Law on Family Courts (23/1990), were published in the official gazette of the Republic of Cyprus where, among others, the following ground-breaking amendments were made:
Amended minimum age of marriage as per law
- Marriage will only be allowed between persons who have reached the age of eighteen (18). With this amendment, marriage is no longer allowed between persons sixteen (16) years old, which was the previous minimum age as per the Law.
Amended date for filing for divorce after a religious conducted marriage
- For any religiously conducted marriages, the spouses shall be able to proceed with the filing of an application of divorce at the Family Court after six (6) weeks from the receipt of the notification for the intention to file the divorce application by the competent bishop, instead of the three (3) months, as prescribed by the previous relevant Law.
Filing for Divorce
An application for divorce can be filed on the following grounds:
- The parties are separated for at least two (2) years instead of four (4) years which was the previous standing.
- Jointly by the spouses, provided they have mutual and clear consent and provided that such application is submitted after the lapse of at least six (6) months from the date of marriage.
- Βigamy, adultery, desertion or violence against either of the spouses or the minor.
- The change of gender of either of the spouses.
- The disappearance of either of the two spouses.
- The death of either of the two spouses.
One Judge for Divorce Cases
- Divorce cases will now be heard by one judge instead of three (3).
- The cases which involve the same parties shall now be heard by the same judge.
Sole Jurisdiction for all Religious Groups
- Family Courts shall have sole jurisdiction to handle divorce cases from all Religious Groups.
One application to handle all divorce Procedures
- The Family Courts, upon the filing of one (1) application, by one of the spouses or both spouses jointly, will be able to also address matters concerning child custody, alimony, the matrimonial house and joint assets matters, including the use of a movable property. This is a significant amendment as prior to this, the Parties had to file a separate court application to the Court to decide each matter separately, resulting in several simultaneous procedures.
You can find the full version of the Amendments Laws in the links below:
The above article is informative and does not correspond to legal advice.