Divorce in Cyprus

Updated: January 19, 2024

To obtain a divorce in Cyprus, you need to apply to the District Family Court to get a date for the application hearing. The application will be forwarded to your spouse. The divorce may be issued in two months if the application is not contested. If you had a religious ceremony, you must notify the bishop (for Christian Orthodox) or your religious leader (for other religions).

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 only documents required to be presented to the court are 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 individual 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 is present at the hearing. 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 much 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 in approximately 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 the facts of each case. 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 incident causing a severe break in the relationship making the marriage unbearable for the applicant.
  • Physical abuse against the applicant or a child/ children of the family.
  • Two or more years of separation. Short interruptions aiming to repair the relationship do not count, “short” meaning not more than three months each.
  • Unjustified for two years of desertion.

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 purposes 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. Cyprus law provides that 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

Cyprus doesn’t have the term divorce by mutual consent or divorce agreement. Also, pre-nuptial agreements are not recognised.

However, with new (2023) developments in the law, the rule on consent has somewhat been relaxed. 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 because both parties consider that they should divorce. If the “respondent” does not appear on the first hearing of the divorce, then the divorce will be issued very soon after the hearing.

Before applying to the District Family Court on this ground, the parties must arrange, by court order, all matters relating to the children. They must submit a copy of the court order to the District Family Court.

It is only possible to file for divorce because of breakdown/ consent six months after the marriage.

Changes to the procedure before the Church

Marriage in Cyprus happens through a civil marriage. Most parties, however, also have a church wedding. In such a case, the civil divorce must be preceded by a church procedure.

Following amendments (2023) to the law, the procedure is as follows:

  • The applicant submits an online notification to the bishop of the area where the applicant resides that the parties intend to ask for a divorce: https://pnevmatikilysi.cy.net/
  • The bishop will ask the applicant and respondent to a conciliation meeting and will try to ease the problems between the parties.
  • If the conciliation meeting fails or does not take place, the parties can file for a divorce after six weeks.
  • When the Family Court issues the decision for divorce, the bishop is notified. The bishop has to issue the religious dissolution of the marriage within two weeks.

Parties from religions other than the Greek Christian Orthodox, who took a marriage ceremony in that other religion, will carry out the same procedure with their religious leader.

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. They will then serve the divorce papers 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 spouse's address and contact details to serve him/her the divorce papers through a bailiff.

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a divorce take in Cyprus?

A divorce in Cyprus typically takes around two months if uncontested. If contested by the spouse, the duration extends, depending on the complexity of the case.

Can I stay in Cyprus after the divorce?

Yes, you can remain in Cyprus after divorcing a Cypriot citizen. To do so, you'll need to apply for a residence permit. This is contingent on the marriage having lasted a significant period, shared legal and financial commitments with your spouse, and a clean immigration record.

How do I get divorced if I got married in Cyprus?

To initiate a divorce after marrying in Cyprus, apply to the District Family Court. If uncontested, the process may take about two months. For contested cases, a trial will ensue, prolonging the process. For religious marriages, notify the bishop through https://pnevmatikilysi.cy.net/, attend a conciliation meeting, and, if necessary, apply for religious dissolution. This dissolution becomes final after 30 days, after which you can proceed with the District Family Court.

How much is alimony in Cyprus?

Alimony in Cyprus does not have a set amount. The amount is calculated according to your circumstances and needs and covers necessary maintenance. You have a right to alimony provided that 1) you are of an age or health condition that you cannot perform adequate work to earn a living, or 2) you are caring for underage child(ren) or adult child(ren) with a physical or mental disability, or, 3) you cannot find a job or need training to do so, in which case you will receive alimony for three years, or, 4) for reasons of fairness or other circumstances showing need. The court can stop, reduce, or adjust the alimony payments if circumstances require this. Interim alimony payments may be ordered if necessary (payments during divorce). Alimony may not be given if the marriage is short or the applicant has exhibited severely blameworthy behaviour. Alimony is paid monthly. If the payer has a 13th and 14th salary, there can be 13th and 14th payments.

What is the cost of a divorce in Cyprus?

The cost of a divorce in Cyprus typically includes government filing fees of approximately €200 and legal fees. For a mutually agreed divorce where both spouses are in Cyprus, the average legal fee is around €800 plus VAT and expenses.

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