Child maintenance in Cyprus and liability of the spouses

Updated: January 24, 2024

When parents are separated or when they receive a divorce in Cyprus, an official court decision is issued, and a child or children are involved, then both parents should take into consideration the interests of the child or children based on the Cypriot Family Law.

The parent who does not exercise parental care of the children should pay the maintenance required to cover their needs, which is calculated based on the children's needs and lifestyle before the dissolution of marriage. The maintenance petition is completely separate from the custody proceedings, which are different in terms of the Cyprus Family Courts.

In general, both spouses are obliged to contribute to the upbringing of their minor children, and the maintenance is calculated depending on their financial situation at the time the petition is filed at the Court.

Maintenance obligation exists in all cases even if the parent has no contact with the minor child or if he is not the biological father, i.e., if the child was born outside marriage, then the father who recognized the child as his own, has the liability to pay maintenance to the spouse with whom the child is living.

How to apply to receive maintenance in Cyprus

The procedure for determining the conditions of maintenance begins with applying to the competent Family Court by the parent with whom the minor children live. Upon the case is filed, it receives a hearing date. Certified copies of the above petition have to be served to the other parent who has the right to appear in Court and ask for time to file his or her defence.

The above petition can be submitted simultaneously with an ex-parte petition which is of an urgent nature, and with that, the Applicant can request the Court to issue a temporary Court Order by which the Respondent will be ordered to pay a monthly amount to the Applicant until the main petition is over or until the Court finally examines the ex-parte petition. To issue such a decree, the Applicant is required to sign an affidavit at the Court, in which they state the children's expenses and the financial situation of both parents.

Once the temporary Court Order is issued, it is served to the Respondent, who can also request time to file his or her defence for that purpose. The temporary decree may be amended or cancelled if the Court is satisfied that the Applicant referred to lies in his or her affidavit.

Contents of the maintenance petition

  1. Minor’s daily/monthly needs and expenses
  2. Monthly Income of the Applicant and the Respondent
  3. Monthly Expenses of the Applicant and the Respondent
  4. Living expenses of the minor

Maintenance of adult children

Separation of the spouses or the final issuance of their divorce raises several issues, including the maintenance of the adult children. When the children become adults, they can apply on their own using a lawyer's services at the competent Court, asking for maintenance from the spouse that was covering their maintenance before becoming adults. For example, they can ask for and receive maintenance to cover part of their educational fees or support when exercising military service. The right of the adult children to receive maintenance to be effective has to be included in a Court Order.

Which one is the competent court to file a custody petition

The Family Courts have jurisdiction over a maintenance petition if the child or children live in the area where the Court is located.

What the child Maintenance Court Order will cover

The Court Order will cover the following list of expenses:

  • Nutrition of the child
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Healthcare
  • Academic tutoring
  • School expenses
  • Entertainment
  • Social events (birthday party)
  • Electricity, Water, Telephone, Internet, Rent
  • Transportation expenses

What the Court will consider

The minor children’s needs and the income of both parents are taken into account in determining the amount of maintenance obligations of the parents. Both parents are obliged to pay for their child's needs each month. The amount of maintenance is paid to the parent on behalf of the child, who has been awarded custody of the child.

Example of a Maintenance Court Order calculation

If one parent is earning €2.000 per month and the other parent is earning €1.000 per month, then the Court could order, for example, one parent to cover 2/3 of the minor's maintenance and the other parent to cover the 1/3. If, for example, the minor needs €600 per month, then one parent contributes €400 and the other parent the remaining €200.

The Court can issue a child maintenance order as soon as the spouses agree on the maintenance amount. If the parents cannot reach an agreement between them, then the Court will decide based on the unique facts of each case.

Possibility of imprisonment of the parent who does not obey the Maintenance Court Order

If the parent against whom there is a maintenance order does not pay what he/she was ordered to do, the Court might order their imprisonment after the spouse who has custody of the child files the corresponding petition. This is done by signing an affidavit stating the overdue amount.

The Registrar then notifies the parent who is delaying the instalments to appear at the Court and explain why he or she is not covering the maintenance. If the parent shows sufficient evidence to the Court regarding the reasons preventing him or her from covering the maintenance instalments, the Court may give him or her a reasonable period of time to cover the overdue amount(s). Once the deadline expires, the police will attempt to collect the overdue amount if he or she does not comply. In case of refusal to pay, he or she will be imprisoned.

Single-parent benefit

Once the divorce is granted, the parent with whom the children live acquires the right to a single-parent benefit of around €180 for each child. A prerequisite for this benefit is the issuance of the Divorce and a Court Order of Maintenance or Custody.

Child maintenance lawyers in Cyprus

Our child maintenance lawyers are able to provide the services below:

  • Advice on the provisions of the law
  • Application to the court for a maintenance order

Our firm provides specialized legal opinions on all family law matters, please contact us for further details.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is child maintenance in Cyprus?

In Cyprus, child maintenance amounts vary based on the child's needs and both parents' financial situations. The maintenance covers the child's welfare and educational expenses. If the parent responsible for maintenance receives a 13th and 14th salary, there may also be corresponding 13th and 14th maintenance payments. The amount of the child’s maintenance is automatically raised by 10% every 24 months. The 24 months start to count from the date of issuance of the maintenance order by the Family Court.

Does a parent have an obligation to pay maintenance for an adult child?

Yes, an adult child is entitled to maintenance in “special circumstances”, like army service, studies (educational or vocational), incapacity, or becoming disabled.

What are the provisions of the law 216/90 about child maintenance in Cyprus?

This law explains the rights to maintenance for children on marriage breakdown. It states that maintenance is calculated according to the parent’s income, can apply to 13th and 14th salaries (if available) and needs to cover the child's (ren’s) welfare, education and overall maintenance. It also explains that the level of maintenance is raised automatically by 10% every 24 months from the date of the maintenance order unless the Court rules otherwise. The order may specify that the money will be taken from the paying parent’s bank account every month. The law contains rules on when maintenance ends, how it can be amended and, generally, settles various issues on the relationship between parents and children.

If the father does not pay child support, will he be deprived of parental rights?

The short answer is no. The mother can move against the father and claim support through the court (resulting in a prison order against the father). However, the father will not lose parental rights for non-payment of child support.

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