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Family Law (Child Custody and Maintenance Proceedings) in Cyprus

Family disputes are hard to tackle when it comes to a break up. Especially if children are involved. In such situations, questions often arise as to which of the parents will take care of the children and what the amount of maintenance will have to be paid by the other.

Child Custody Proceedings:

After the spouses become estranged and provided children are involved, child custody proceedings will most likely take place in order to determine which of the parents will take the custody of the children. In such cases, the Family Courts of Cyprus issue 3 kinds of decrees. The first one is the parental care decree, the second one is the child custody decree and the third one is the communications decree.

The usual occurrence is for the court to award a parental care decree to both spouses. The child custody decree will be awarded to one of the parents whilst the other parent will as a matter of course be granted a communications decree.
In cases where there is a disagreement between the spouses, the court appoints an officer of the Social Welfare Services to prepare a report which the court will take into account in ordering any of the abovementioned decrees.

It is noted that, it is the parent on whose benefit the child custody decree has been issued who can apply for an order relating to child maintenance. The child maintenance order is analysed below.

Child Maintenance Proceedings:

The Family Courts of Cyprus are the ones which have jurisdiction to issue child maintenance orders. Child maintenance orders are issued on the application of the spouse who has been awarded the custody of the child and against the spouse who has been awarded the communications decree. Such orders are issued in the following circumstances:

a) Where the child is underage (until the age of 18). The amount of the maintenance ordered is determined by taking into account the needs of the child, the standard of living the child had prior to the estrangement of the spouses as well as the means of its parents. It is to be noted that the means of its parents does not only include financial means but it also includes the actual opportunity to earn a salary. For example, if someone is healthy enough and has the skills required to take on work, this is to be taken into account, irrespective of whether he/she has work or not.

b) Where the child is an adult, the adult child can file its own application for maintenance against his/her mother or father. The adult child is allowed to maintenance provided that special circumstances exist. Such circumstances exist where the adult child is a soldier or student. If the adult child is a university or college student, he/she can apply for maintenance provided that he/she was a good student and that he/she maintains a good relationship with the parent against whom the application for maintenance is made.

We know that child custody battles are very distressing and emotional for you and in many cases have similar effects on the children involved. We also know that it is difficult to discuss in detail all the agonizing details of what is regarded as strictly private. Our experienced lawyers can help you through this difficult time by providing legal advice on how to overcome the hurdles involved. Full confidentiality is always our priority.

This article is given for information purposes only and it does not constitute legal advice. Please give us a call if you would like to book a consultation with a specialist in this area from our office. We will be happy to assist you.