Family Law in Cyprus consists of legal principles that define relationships, rights and duties within family units such as those created by marriage. Marriage in Cyprus is a legal agreement, apart from religious marriage, that comprises by certain rights and obligations usually regardless of what both spouses agree to do. The legal aid of a family lawyer is exciting and varies. Family lawyers afford great scope for assisting people in a very vital change in their lives. The area of divorce law in Cyprus is not the only area covered in family laws and family lawyers; custody and visitation rights, adoption, child custody, child abduction, spouse abuse are also covered under the great umbrella of family law. Generally, Cyprus Family Courts have jurisdiction to deal with:
Divorce: Dissolution of marriage. This is the result of a court order of the district Family Court in Cyprus that terminates or dissolves the marriage. Family courts in Cyprus are situated at Nicosia and Limassol and those courts also cover the cities of Pafos, Larnaca and Famagusta, including Paralimni. The basic procedure begins when one spouse files the divorce petition through a divorce lawyer or law firm subject to Cyprus family and divorce laws and regulations by filing the necessary forms/applications to the court. This basic procedure includes:
- Completing the necessary forms though a divorce attorney, the divorce petition, with a general request the dissolution of the marriage.
- The divorce petition to be served to other spouse. The service of the petition in Cyprus is arranged through the Cyprus law firm representing the petitioner/applicant.
- The other spouse – respondent – will either respond by filing an objection in court through a Cyprus family attorney, or in the event that the spouse does not intent to defend then the petitioner’s divorce lawyers will provide the court with proof that the other spouse has been served with the divorce petition.
- The divorce petition is set for hearing if the other spouse has an objection or is set for proof if the other spouse is not appeared.
Visitation rights: After a divorce or custody action in Cyprus, a leave is given by the court to the non-custodial parent to visit his or her child or children. Visitation rights may be decided by the agreement between the parties/parents through the assistance of family lawyers or through a Cyprus Family court order. If the court concludes that the parents will be cooperative, it may not proceed to issue court order with a detailed visitation schedule. If parents are not cooperative, the court will proceed to issue a detailed schedule including the days and times of pick up and return, and holiday and vacation schedules.
Adoption: Adoption in Cyprus is described as a legal method of “creating” between the child and one adult who is not the natural parent of the child, an artificial family, relationship similar to that of parent and child. The adopter is the one who precedes the act of the adoption. It is the voluntary acceptance of the responsibility to protect, look after and promote the development of the child of another until adulthood. Adoption under family law in Cyprus is an act which the child is becoming part of the artificial family with all the implications with common family name, home assets and kinship relationships which are thereby entailed.
Child custody: This is the care of, look after and protection of child in Cyprus, which a family court may award to one of the parties/parents following a divorce or dissolution of a marriage after the filing of such petition by a family lawyer in Cyprus. After the divorce of the parents a child custody petition is filed to the court a family law attorney and a court order is issued naming the parent with whom the child will live, how visitation right will be handled, and how both parents will afford financial support and disciplinary guidelines for their child in Cyprus.
Spouse abuse: Spouse abuse, or domestic violence, consists of pattern of behaviors that may comprise by repeated rough treatment, sexual violence, social isolation, physiological abuse, deprivation and intimidation of a victim by an intimate partner. A wide range of cases has been described by the victims of spouse abuse, including fatal and nonfatal injury, a range of medical complaints, drug and alcohol abuse, attempted suicide and other mental illnesses, and miscarriages. The most common civil actions in Cyprus defending abused victims is the protective order, restraining order, or injunction filed by a Cyprus family lawyer or law firm. The court may have the power to order the abuser to leave the home, receive counseling, or proceed with other actions. Police may have the power to arrest abusers who breach protective orders in accordance with criminal law in Cyprus.
Property issues upon divorce: A spouse who has in any way contributed towards the increase of the movable or immovable assets of the other spouse during the marriage (or in certain instances even before – if such contribution was made in anticipation of the marriage), is entitled to claim the part of the increase which represents his or her contribution. The court can take into account assets located abroad.
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