In Cyprus, the majority of the cases that are related to family matters, such as divorce, property relations, marital relations, custody and maintenance of a child are resolved by Family Courts. Under certain circumstances the family matters are resolved by the President of the District Court or the Family Courts of the Religious Groups.
For the family Courts to have jurisdiction it is an important requirement that one of the parties or both parties are resident in Cyprus for a continuous period of three months or more. However, if the dispute involves property relation, then there is no need for any of the parties to be residents in Cyprus.
A decision issued by a Court of another country can be enforced in Cyprus provided that Cyprus has an agreement with that particular country for mutual recognition and enforcement of judicial decisions with the country issuing the decision. If the country issuing the decisions is an EU Member States, then the enforcement will be effected by using the EU Regulations.
Regarding a divorce the dissolution of civil marriage in Cyprus is granted in Cyprus Family Courts once the applicant files an application at the Family Court. In case of religious marriage, the spouse applying for the divorce must first notify in writing, according to Article 3(1) of L. 22/90, the Bishop of the area where the applicant lives stating the grounds for the divorce.
The most common reason for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship which makes the continuation of the marriage irrevocable for the applicant.
In case of property relations each spouse retains all the rights they have on their personal property. Only property that was commonly acquired after the marriage may be divided or regulated by a court order. The contribution of a spouse is presumed to be 1/3 of the increase of the value of the property unless it is proved otherwise.
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