Amendments to Cyprus Divorce Laws

The Laws amending the Marriage Law (104/03), the Family Courts Law (23/90) and the Attempted Conciliation and Spiritual Dissolution of Marriage Law (22/90) have now been published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus.

The important changes introduced by these amendments are as follows:

  1. The four year separation as a reason for divorce is reduced to two years. Thus, since the publication of the law, a divorce can be resolved in the event that the spouses have been separated for two years.
  1. The fact that both spouses consent to the dissolution of their marriage is introduced as a new ground for divorce, provided that 6 months have passed since the marriage took place and in the event that the couple have children, the issue of parental care and communication has been regulated by a court decree.
  1. No longer can a minor, i.e. a child under 18, perform a valid marriage.
  1. The grounds for divorce for all marriages are now the same and they are:
    1. The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage to which the presumption of irretrievable breakdown is satisfied in case of bigamy, adultery, desertion or violence against the plaintiff or the child.
    2. Two year separation.
    3. The consent of both spouses to the dissolution of the marriage.
    4. The change of gender of either of the two spouses.
    5. Spouse declared missing.
  1. All other grounds for divorce are abolished.
  1. Divorces will now be heard by a single judge.
  1. All cases involving the same parties shall be heard by the same judge. This may also apply where proceedings are pending between the same parties in different localities.
  1. Religious group courts are abolished and all family cases are now heard by the Family Courts.
  1. Family Judges may on their own motion order the provision of counselling or psychological support to a child, without requiring parental consent.
  1. The decree of exclusive use of all or a portion of the family home can be extended for a period of up to two years after the dissolution of the marriage.
  1. It is possible to include in the same application claims for matters of parental care, alimony, or use of the family home and movable property.
  1. Courts will be able to order the preparation of a report that includes the incomes of the parties.
  1. It is possible for the Court to issue a temporary order for parental care, maintenance, exclusive use or use of movable property on its own motion.
  1. Filing of a petition for divorce where the marriage was religious is now possible after 6 weeks from the receipt of the notification of the intention to file the divorce petition by the competent bishop instead of the 3 months that applied until now.
  1. In the event that the reason for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage due to violence, then it is not necessary to send a notification, provided that the violence has been reported to the police and the party has secured a relevant report.
  1. Notification in the case of Greek Orthodox marriages can now be submitted online via the official website of the Archdiocese.