1. I am thinking about getting a divorce -or- my spouse filed a divorce application against me. What should I do?

We can assist you in both cases, namely in filing a divorce application or in defending you in a divorce application which was filed against you. Before proceeding with the lodging of any documents in Court, we would suggest discussing your case and the facts concerning it, in order to advise you on the actions you should take, since not all cases are the same.

  1. I would like to proceed with an application in the Family Court, but I cannot pay the legal fees. What can I do?

If you would like to hire a lawyer for a family law matter (e.g., parental care, alimony, proprietary relations of spouses) but you are not financially able to do so, you could apply for Legal Aid and once your application is approved, you will be able to hire the lawyer of your choice and the legal fees will be paid by the Republic.

  1. Do I have to attend Court?

In any case, you will need to attend Court in order to sign an affidavit or any other relevant document. Generally, your physical presence in Court is not required, however, on certain occasions this may be mandatory if ordered by the Court.

  1. How long does an application in the Family Court take to be finalized?

From our experience, it usually takes between 2-4 months if not disputed, either this is a divorce application or any application in the family court: namely, the other spouse/parent has been served with the application but he/she will not contest it. In any other case, the respondent who wishes to contest the application is granted time to lodge his objection and the application is heard before the Court on a date specified by the Court, according to the Court's workload and schedule. Therefore, on such occasions, the procedure takes many months to be concluded.  

  1. My spouse lives abroad. Can I still get a divorce?

Yes, you can get a divorce, even if your spouse lives outside of Cyprus. In such cases, apart from lodging the divorce application, we also need to apply to the Court to serve the divorce application on him/her in the Country where he/she resides or it can be sent using an electronic means of communication e.g., email, Viber, etc.

  1. What about our children? What type of Court orders can be issued relating to children?

A number of court orders can be issued in relation to children and it is not required that a divorce has been issued. Most often, a parent applies to Court against the other parent for the determination of the child's custody, communication of the child with the parent with whom the child does not live, and the amount payable for child maintenance/ alimony or its variation, where the child's needs have changed. Moreover, in the context of parental care, parents can apply to Court in order to regulate any other aspects of the child's life.

  1. My child lives with my ex-partner/spouse. Can I have communication with him/her?

The child should have communication with both parents, where possible, as this is in his/her best interests. The parent with whom the child does not live, can apply to the Court in order for his/her right of communication with the child to be specified, in relation to the days and time that he/she will be able to communicate with the child. In such cases, the Court's criterion is first and foremost the welfare of the child.

  1. Can I stop my ex-partner moving away with our children?

Yes, you can do so. This is made, by application to the Court for the issue of an order, putting the child on a 'stop-list', namely to prevent the other parent from taking the child out of Cyprus without both the consent and signatures of both parents. In addition, legal proceedings exist in order to bring back a child who has been abducted by his/her parent.

  1. I and/or our children suffer domestic abuse. What can I do?

The law provides a number of orders to protect you and your children from domestic violence including the exclusive use of the family home and other restrictive measures. However, instead of waiting until you decide whether to proceed with legal proceedings or not, we would suggest that you contact the Police at each District's Headquarters, and/or the helpline of the Police for this reason at 1440, and/or an organization which can provide you with psychological support, possible shelter and advice, e.g., ΣΠΑΒΟ (SPAVO in English) - the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (NGO).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.