Divorce in Cyprus

Updated: May 15, 2023

The divorce lawyers of our firm can file a petition of divorce (dissolution of marriage) of a civil or religious marriage that has taken place in Cyprus or internationally, with the requirement that any of the spouses is living in Cyprus for at least 3 months.

An essential requirement to be able to issue a divorce in Cyprus is to know the address of the other spouse (either their work or home address) to serve the papers of the divorce through a bailiff. It is not significant if the applicant was married in Cyprus or abroad.

Divorce in civil marriage

No matter if the wedding has happened in Cyprus or abroad, if one of the spouses lives in Cyprus for at least three months, then the Family Court has jurisdiction to dissolve the marriage. Dissolving a civil marriage at a District Family Court, especially if the spouses agree on the divorce, is one of the most straightforward procedures. The required documents to present at the Court are only the marriage certificate and an affidavit from the divorce applicant. 

The time needed to receive the divorce paper in a civil marriage, when both parties agree, is about one month and a half or less, depending on the executive circumstances of each case.

Divorce process

The party against whom the divorce will be filed is the “respondent” in terms of the procedure. The spouse who files the petition for divorce in Cyprus is the “applicant”. Once the divorce lawyer files the petition, the Court sets a specific date for the first hearing. At the same time, the divorce petition has to be served to the other spouse, “the respondent,” so that he/she can be aware of the first hearing to be present. Or he/she can appoint a divorce lawyer to defend the petition. The “respondent” also has the right not to appear at the first hearing. The divorce will be issued in his/her absence by the procedure led by the “applicant”. If the respondent appears on the first hearing and objects to the divorce, the divorce procedure will take a lot of time to complete.

The fastest way to issue a divorce is when the “respondent” does not appear at the first hearing. If the “respondent” does not appear at the District Family Court, the divorce case will be set for proof approximately in a week. The divorce cases take place at the District Family Court of Limassol every Wednesday at the moment. When the case is set for proof, the divorce lawyer, following the facts told by the “applicant”, will prepare an affidavit for the applicant. It will be filed on the day the divorce case is set for its second hearing (when the “respondent” does not appear on the first hearing). After filing the affidavit, the lawyer will appear at the hearing presenting the affidavit of the “applicant”. If all requirements are met (such as serving the documents to the “respondent” through a valid method, such as bailiff if he/she lives in Cyprus or DHL), the divorce will be issued on the same day. Then it takes a few days to receive the certificate of divorce. 

To conclude, divorce in Cyprus, where the District Family Court has jurisdiction, can be both a simple and complicated process depending on each case's facts. Our divorce lawyers can assist you with your requests and offer you one free first consultation at our office or through e-mail.

Legal grounds for divorce

The divorce can be issued against the “respondent” due to the serious breakdown of the relationship, which is a reason that refers to both spouses. 

If the “applicant” wants to blame the “respondent” for the dissolution of the marriage, he/she can refer to the following legal grounds of divorce:

  • Adultery
  • An abusive or offensive, or other repetitive indecent causing a severe fall of the relationship making the marriage unbearable for the applicant.
  • Physical abuse.
  • Unjustified for two years of abandonment. 

Legal consequences of divorce/separation

When the marriage is dissolved, and the certificate of divorce is issued, then if one of the ex-spouses cannot secure his or her income or property, he/she shall be entitled to claim maintenance from the other if one of the following requirements is met:

  • At the time of the divorce, he/she is of age or in a state of health which does not allow him/her to begin or continue the pursuit of an appropriate occupation.
  • He/she has custody of a minor child, an adult child, or another dependent person who, due to a physical or mental disability, cannot take care of himself/herself And is therefore prevented from pursuing an appropriate profession.
  • He/she does not find a suitable permanent job or if he/she needs professional training, and in both cases, for a period that cannot exceed three years from the date of divorce.

If the ex-spouses have minor child/children, they should file another two petitions, one for the maintenance and one for the custody of the child/children. 

Division of property after the divorce / Divorce financial settlement

If the ex-spouses have gained property or increased their assets during the marriage or before marriage for the purpose of marriage, they should file another petition at the Court in case they do not agree to share their property/assets with the other spouse. As Cyprus’ law implies: If the marriage is dissolved, or if the spouses are separated (before receiving divorce), and the property of one spouse is increased, the other spouse, if he/she has contributed in any way to the increase, has the right to bring a claim to the Court of Justice and to request the return of his/her part of the increase that comes from his/her contribution.

Divorce by mutual consent or divorce agreement

In Cyprus, we don’t have the term divorce by mutual consent or divorce agreement. However, if both parties agree on the issuance of the divorce, they can file the divorce papers at the District Family Court. The reason for the divorce will be a serious breakdown of the relationship. If the “respondent” does not appear on the first hearing of the divorce, then the divorce will be issued very soon after the hearing.

Online divorce in Cyprus

If you have been married in Cyprus or abroad and your spouse has been living in Cyprus for at least 3 months, you can file a divorce petition. The procedure cannot be executed online, but civil marriage lawyers can receive directions from you online through e-mail/video calls to start the divorce procedure. Then serve the papers of divorce to the spouse who lives in Cyprus. There are two requirements to begin this process of divorce which are the following:

  1. The spouse has lived in Cyprus for at least 3 months. 
  2. You, the applicant, know the address and contact details of the spouse to be able to serve him/her the papers of divorce through a bailiff. 

Thus no matter where you are, you can receive a divorce from Cyprus, which will be posted internationally if the above requirements are met.

Our firm provides specialized legal opinions on all family law matters. Please get in touch with us for further details.

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