The sensitive issues that fall under Matrimonial & Family Law require advice and representation that strikes a balance of rigorous pursuance and awareness of the delicacies surrounding some of the matters, as well as the upmost discretion and sensitivity, especially concerning the welfare of children, or the reputation of a client.
Areas Covered by Matrimonial & Family Law
Kaimakliotis & Co can consult on all aspects of family relationships and the rights of each member, whether bonded by blood or marriage. We provide representation regarding all matrimonial, family and personal matters, for both residents of the island, and overseas clients embroiled in family matters on the island. This includes:
- Pre-marital Advice: Property / Assets / Tax Planning / Prenuptial
- Civil Marriages
- Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce: Civil or Religious)
- Division of Marital Assets & Maintenance
- Alimony (Child Support)
- Child Custody & Care: Visitation / Paternity
- International Child abduction
For clients considering marriage, we offer extensive pre-marital legal advice, whereby both parties are clear in what ‘agreement’ of marriage they are entering into - from property, asset and tax planning, to prenuptial agreements. This service is extremely beneficial in ensuring that there are no misconceptions or misunderstandings surrounding each individual’s finances and assets, or the expectation of how this changes once a legal marriage has been entered into.
Kaimakliotis & Co are experts in drawing up iron-clad prenuptial agreements that clearly define and set-up terms - as acknowledged and signed by both parties.
Cyprus has become an increasingly attractive destination for civil marriages, and attracts couples from all over the world for its simplified procedures – as well as its beautiful venues for holding civil ceremonies in the sun.
Kaimakliotis & Co can assist couples in navigating the procedure for holding a civil ceremony on the island, including undertaking the filing of paperwork with the relevant municipality, and assistance in preparations regarding any legal aspect of the service itself.
The dissolution of marriage can apply for both civil and religious unions with Kaimakliotis & Co making the often-difficult and upsetting experience of divorce markedly easier by ensuring that proceedings are smooth and expedited, and that any disputes over assets or child custody are promptly addressed and resolved.
The first step in our services involves a consultation to advise on how the dissolution of a marriage should proceed, and what sensitive factors may be involved, including custody issues, paternity, alimony and division of assets.
Whilst religious marriages do not have to be dissolved by the church, due to the Family Courts retaining exclusive jurisdiction on divorce, those wishing to later remarry in a church may likely require a religious divorce too, in order to be given the church’s permission to proceed with an additional church wedding.
In general, Cyprus divorce laws are straight forward, with divorces granted in reasonably quick timeframes in comparison to other countries. Once Kaimakliotis & Co file a divorce petition on behalf of one of the spouses as their official Divorce Lawyer, the dissolution of a marriage can typically take between 4-6 months, and often can proceed smoothly in the absence of one of the spouses where a petition is not contested.
In the case of dissolving a religious marriage that took place through the Orthodox church on the island, it is required that a notice be sent to the Metropolis three months prior to filing a petition in the courts.
If there is no predefined prenuptial agreement or pre-marital agreement regarding assets – including property – Cyprus laws outline certain rights regarding both movable and immovable assets, with a deadline of two years after the dissolution of a marriage for claims, after which time assets cannot be touched.
Asset division can also include assets located abroad, whilst gifts are not included.
Any contribution made by one spouse towards the increase of the other’s movable or immovable assets - whether made during the time of their actual marriage, or as a couple prior to the marriage – thereby entitles the contributor a claim to a part of the increase. The claim corresponds to – and is reflective of – their contribution. The rebuttable presumption is that this contribution to the increase is 1/3, unless refuted and a different contribution – either smaller or larger – can be proved.
In terms of maintenance, this depends on which of the two spouses is more financially secure – and the degree of this security, coupled with other considerations, such as dependants and medical requirements.
When embarking upon divorce proceedings, Kaimakliotis & Co will advise on your rights regarding the division of marital assets, and assist in negotiations with a view to finding amicable solutions between the two parties that can be reached swiftly outside of court, and without the need to drag out the separate applications regarding the division of assets.
Under Cyprus law, the wellbeing, support and upkeep of a child under the age of 18 falls jointly on both parents, and can also extend past the age of 18 in cases where the child still requires the support and upkeep of their parents for valid reasons.
In order to safeguard the wellbeing and support of a child during the time that divorce proceedings are taking place – and pending the outcome of a hearing - the court may issue an interim order for the maintenance of a child.
The welfare of a child is normally the priority of both parties, but sometimes the personal issues between former spouses can cloud their judgement and actions and inadvertently cause problems for the children of the marriage. Kaimakliotis & Co are sensitive to issues surrounding the wellbeing and support of children and work towards ensuring that offspring do not become the casualty of a battle between parents.
When the dissolution of a marriage involves children, the issue of their custody must be handled delicately, correctly and as swiftly as possible to avoid undue distress for the offspring – and the parents.
The first priory is the safeguarding of the child’s/children’s best interests. The ideal scenario is that both parties will come to a mutual agreement regarding custody of their children and subsequent visitation rights, without the need for the Family Court to intervene. In the case where no agreement is reached, a number of factors are considered for custody and visitation rights including: the parent’s capabilities, financial situation and standard of care and living; the child’s age, sex, medical, emotional and educational requirements, and the child’s own wishes – if they are old enough, or mature enough to be able to voice them.
Regardless of what custody entails, both parents – whether living with the child or not – have the right to communicate with, and see their children, as do both sets of grandparents. Kaimakliotis & Co will determine and secure this right for clients through the correct and careful handling of custody issues.
In cases of disputed paternity, Kaimakliotis & Co are able to assist a parent in determining paternity through the correct and legal channels.
Whilst Kaimakliotis & Co always work towards an amicable divorce that minimises any animosity between former spouses, there are times when relations between the two parties irrevocably break-down, leading to more serious and complex issues, such as child abduction.
The abduction of a child is defined as the child being taken out of a country by one parent without the consent of the other – whether this is an innocent relocation or a deliberate (or desperate) act.
In the first instance, we offer clear advise and action if there is any risk or suspicion of a potential abduction taking place, including prevention measures and filing or prosecution of any such threats or attempts.
In cases where the abduction of a child has taken actually taken place – whether a child is brought into Cyprus or taken out - the situation is classed as ‘urgent’, and we call upon every resource both in-country and through our network of international associates.
Kaimakliotis & Co have extensive experience in child abductions and have handled several major and prominent cases and their successful conclusion.
Our complete adoption services are designed to offer a smooth adoption process – from the initial research, to the moment a child is taken home by their adoptive parents.
The process of adoption may typically take between 6-8 months once papers are filed. The process begins with Kaimakliotis & Co researching on behalf of the prospective adoptive parents and ensuring that all matters regarding this delicate and important decision are in order, so as to avoid complications. We then undertake documentation and its filing with the correct authorities; the receipt of the court decree; all paperwork and certifications of the child, and the immigration process of a child in an inter-country adoption.
Furthermore, Kaimakliotis & Co will cover issues regarding the status of communication or involvement of the natural parents or guardians, and the safeguarding of the rights of both the adoptive parents and the adopted child.