Divorce in Cyprus

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Divorce in Cyprus

Our skilled Cyprus Divorce Lawyers are here to guide you through the process of divorce in Cyprus, whether your marriage occurred within Cyprus or Internationally. To initiate divorce proceedings, one of the spouses must have resided in Cyprus for a minimum of three months.

Cyprus Key Divorce Requirements

One essential requirement for obtaining a divorce in Cyprus is knowing the address of the other spouse (either their work or home address) for the service of divorce papers via a bailiff. This applies regardless of whether the marriage was conducted in Cyprus or abroad. Of course certain specific criteria should apply as specified in the Marriage Law of 2003 Law 104(I)/2003.

Divorce in Civil Marriage in Cyprus

Whether the marriage ceremony took place in Cyprus or abroad, as long as one spouse has been a resident of Cyprus for at least three months, the Family Court in Cyprus has jurisdiction to handle the divorce. When both parties agree to the divorce, dissolving a civil marriage at a District Family Court is typically a straightforward process. The necessary documents to present at the court include the marriage certificate and an affidavit from the divorce applicant.
The timeframe for receiving divorce papers in a mutually agreed civil divorce is approximately one and a half months, or even less, depending on the specific circumstances of each case.

Cyprus Divorce Procedure

In the divorce process, the party against whom the divorce is filed is referred to as the “respondent,” while the spouse initiating the divorce in Cyprus is the “applicant.” Once the divorce lawyer files the divorce petition, the Court schedules an initial hearing. Simultaneously, the divorce petition must be served to the other spouse, the “respondent,” to notify them of the upcoming hearing or to allow them to appoint a divorce lawyer for defence. The “respondent” also has the option not to attend the first hearing. In such cases, the divorce may proceed in their absence, led by the “applicant.” However, if the “respondent” attends the first hearing and opposes the divorce, the procedure can become more time-consuming.

The swiftest path to obtaining a divorce is when the “respondent” does not appear at the first hearing. In such cases, the divorce case is typically set for proof within a week. Divorce cases are currently scheduled every Wednesday at the District Family Court of Limassol. Once the case is scheduled for proof, the divorce lawyer, based on the “applicant’s” account of events, prepares an affidavit. This affidavit is filed on the day of the second hearing of the divorce case, which occurs when the “respondent” does not appear at the first hearing. If all requirements are met, such as proper service of documents to the “respondent,” the divorce can be granted on the same day. Afterward, it takes a few days to receive the certificate of divorce.

In summary, the divorce process in Cyprus, under the jurisdiction of the District Family Court, can be a straightforward or complex endeavour, depending on the specific circumstances of each case. Our experienced divorce lawyers are available to assist with your requests and offer a free initial consultation either in our office or through email.

Legal Grounds for Cyprus Divorce

A divorce in Cyprus can be granted due to a severe breakdown in the relationship, which can be attributed to either or both spouses. For those seeking to attribute blame for the dissolution, the following legal grounds for divorce are available:

  1. Adultery
  2. Abusive or offensive behaviour, or other repeated indecent acts causing a severe deterioration in the relationship, rendering the marriage untenable for the applicant.
  3. Physical abuse.
  4. Unjustified abandonment for two years.

Legal Consequences of Cyprus Divorce/Separation

Following divorce, if one of the ex-spouses is unable to support themselves financially or maintain their property, they have the right to claim maintenance from the other spouse under certain conditions. This includes situations where the individual is of an age or health condition that prevents them from pursuing a suitable occupation, or when they have custody of a minor child, an adult child, or another dependent person who cannot care for themselves due to a physical or mental disability. Additionally, if they cannot secure permanent employment or require professional training, they can seek maintenance for a limited period not exceeding three years from the date of divorce.

For ex-spouses with minor children, separate petitions must be filed for both child custody and maintenance.

Division of Property in Cyprus After Divorce/Divorce Financial Settlement

If ex-spouses have acquired property or increased their assets value during the marriage or with the intention of marriage, and they do not agree on property division, they can file a petition with the Court. Under Cypriot law, if a marriage ends or spouses separate (prior to divorce), and one spouse’s property has increased in value, the other spouse, provided they contributed to the increase, can file a claim with the Court of Justice to reclaim their share of the increased value resulting from their contribution.

Divorce by Mutual Consent or Divorce Agreement in Cyprus

Although Cyprus does not formally recognize “divorce by mutual consent” or a “divorce agreement,” if both parties agree to the divorce, they can file the necessary divorce papers at the District Family Court. Grounds for such a divorce would be the serious breakdown of the relationship. In cases where the “respondent” does not attend the initial divorce hearing, the divorce can be finalized shortly after that hearing.

Online Divorce in Cyprus

If you were married in Cyprus or abroad and your spouse has resided in Cyprus for at least three months, you can file for divorce. While the procedure cannot be conducted entirely online, our civil marriage lawyers can guide you through the process remotely via email and video calls. This involves sending the divorce papers to the spouse residing in Cyprus. To embark on this process, two requirements must be met:

  1. The spouse must have lived in Cyprus for at least three months.
  2. You, as the applicant, must know the address and contact details of your spouse, allowing you to serve them with the divorce papers through a bailiff.

Marriage Law of 2003 (104(I)/2003)

Hence, regardless of your location, you can obtain a divorce from Cyprus, which can be sent internationally if the above prerequisites are satisfied.

For more information contact us directly. Our firms family lawyers are here to assist you in all matters related to family law.

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Ioannis Michalaki

Ioannis Michalaki

CEO, Partner
Elena Pitsillidou

Elena Pitsillidou

Managing Director, Partner