Eligibility for divorce
Possible grounds for divorce
Divorce is the legal process that can bring an end to the legal relationship or religious bond of a couple. For many couples, divorce proceedings are the first experience they have with the courts of law and emotions can run high. Therefore, the aim should always be to resolve the dispute without unnecessary delays and with the necessary efficiency and compassion.
This article explains every step of the divorce process in Cyprus for both civil and religious weddings, including eligibility and the possible grounds for divorce.
Civil weddings can be broken though a quick divorce process. Usually, the party seeking a divorce can file a petition two days from the engagement of a lawyer. The petition is filed with the family court of the district where the couple last resided and is scheduled for court directions approximately one month from the day of filing. During this time, the petition is served to the respondent who is entitled to file for a notice of objection to the petition.
Respondents only rarely file a notice of objection. In cases where no objection is filed, the petitioning party's lawyers will request a hearing date for a hearing to testify the reasons for the divorce. On the same day of the hearing, the court will issue a dissolution of the wedding order.
The whole divorce process should, therefore, be completed within two months, unless an objection to divorce is filed. In the case of an objection, the process may be extended to an average of six to nine months.
Religious weddings follow the same court process as civil weddings – the only difference is that three months prior to the filing of a petition, the petitioning party is required to send a notice of marriage dissolution to the competent bishop notifying them of their intention to file for divorce.
Any couple, of any nationality, who has been living in Cyprus for at least three months can file for a divorce order with the family court.
According to family law in Cyprus, a divorce order will be issued upon proving any of the following grounds:
- serious breakdown of the relationship;
- inexcusable absence from the family for over two years;
- separation that has lasted over four years;
- immoral behaviour;
- violence and physical abuse;
- imprisonment of a spouse for over several years;
- a spouse has been declared dead or missing;
- an inability to have sexual intercourse that existed at the time of marriage and continues for six months after the marriage and during the application for divorce;
- refusal of a spouse to have children; and
- change of religion.
For further information on this topic please contact Christos Kastanias or Ioanna Martidi at A G Paphitis & Co by telephone (+357 25 73 10 00) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The A G Paphitis & Co website can be accessed at www.agplaw.com.