Divorce in Cyprus – Following the latest statistical analysis conducted by the Ministry of Finance, for the year 2018 a total of 2.114 divorces were issued in the Republic of Cyprus. The crude divorce rate was calculated at 2.43 per 1,000 population, amounting to a substantial increase in the expected divorce rate by 295.6 per 1,000 marriages from 1980 to 2018.
Dissolution of Marriage
A dissolution of marriage is defined as a divorce of a political or religious marriage that has been hierologized in accordance to the religious rules of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Grounds for a divorce
The existence of an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage must be proven when applying for the dissolution of a marriage, such as:
- Four years of continuous separation
- Violence and physical abuse
- Immoral behaviour
- Imprisonment of the spouse
- Refusal on the spouse to have children
- The breakdown of the marital relationship,
- Absence of one of the spouses for two or more years
Stages of a divorce
Stage 1: The procedure is initiated with the submission of a notice to the district bishop stating the intention to file a divorce petition, as per Annex A of the Law.
Note: The above obligation is only necessary for marriages conducted by the Greek Orthodox Church and not for civil marriages.
Stage 2: After the Bishop has received the notification for the dissolution of marriage, the Bishop invites the parties for a counselling meeting, in the aspiration of reconciling their marriage. In the event that the Bishop is unsuccessful, any of the 2 parties may proceed in filing a divorce petition at the relevant District Court.
Stage 3: Following a lapse of three months from the receipt of the notification by the Bishop, the parties may file a petition for the dissolution of their marriage. The petition must be accompanied with the original notice receipt from the Bishop and the certificate of dissolution of the Spiritual marriage from the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus.
Stage 4: Once filed, the divorce petition is serviced to the spouse of the applicant who must respond within 15 days. Where no defence is filed by the spouse, and provided the Court is satisfied that the petition has met the relevant requirements, the divorce will be issued within 1 to 2 months.
When the parties have conducted both civil and religious marriage in accordance with the rules of the Greek Orthodox Church, the applicant must request in the divorce petition the dissolution of both marriages.
Failure to do so, will result to the parties remaining legally married.
 Republic of Cyprus – Ministry of Finance Demographic Statistics 2018
 The Family Courts Procedural Rules of 1990
 The Family Courts Law of 1990(23/1990) Article 14
 The Law on Attempted Conciliation and Spiritual of Marriage of 1990 (22/1990) Annex A
 Spiritual Dissolution of Marriage Law 22/90 3(3)