In Cypriot law, matters concerning parental care are regulated by the Parents and Children Relations Act of 1990. According to the Cypriot Law the «parental care» includes the determination of the child’s name, the custody of the child, the administration of his property and his representation in any case. Moreover «child» is any person under the age of eighteen.
Based on Parents and Children Relations Act of 1990 (216/1990), parental care is both an obligation and a right of parents. in case of divorce or when there is a break in the cohabitation of the two spouses, the court regulates the exercise of parental care. The exercise of parental responsibility may be assigned to one of the two parents or may be distributed between the parents or assigned to a third party.
The court must always take into account the child’s ties to his parents and siblings before making a decision. Therefore, according to Cypriot law, the main criterion is always the best interest of the child. Αlso the court’s decision should respect equality between parents and not discriminate on the basis of sex, language, religion, belief, nationality, national or social origin or property.
The courts in Cyprus in such cases take into account the opinion of the child if they first talk with him and ascertain the maturity of the minor. If the minor is at an age where he can decide in his best interest, then his opinion is very important.
Who is entitled to apply to the Court?
The people who can apply to the court for parental care are the following:
- The mother
- The father (the mother’s husband or the person who recognized the minor as his child)
- Αscendants of father or mother
- Director of the Department of Social Welfare Services.
Right to communication
According to article 17 of Parents and Children Relations Act of 1990, In the case where the Court gives custody to one of the parents then the parent with whom the child does not reside has the right to communication.
That parent can make an application to the court asking for specific times and days he want to see his child.
The right to contact in exceptional cases can be suspended when, for example, there is abuse of the minor, or when the minor does not wish to have contact with one of the parents.
Bad exercise of parental care
Based to the article 18 of Parents and Children Relations Act of 1990 in case of bad exercise of parental care the court can take the following actions:
- Take any measure it deems appropriate in the event that the parents breach their duties in the exercise of parental care.
- Assign all or part of parental care to the other parent or to the Commissioner. the custody of the minor by both parents and the assignment to a Commissioner are ordered by the Court only when other measures have failed and there is a risk to the physical and mental health of the child.
- The comissioner to whom parental responsibility is entrusted is preferably a relative. His suitability, morals and living conditions are checked.
Termination of parental care
Based on the article 22 of the Cypriot Law «Parents and Children Relations Act of 1990» the parental care is terminated when:
- Ιn respect of one parent if he dies or becomes insolvent and in respect of both parents when the child reaches adulthood or dies or becomes insolvent.