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Family Law

Family Law

At Legal Trust we represent clients in their family disputes involving divorce, division of marital assets, alimony, child support, custody, visitation rights, child abduction etc. We offer advice and effective representation to our clients, based on our experience in domestic and international family law. We have extensive experience, in family law issues that involve multiple jurisdictions. If you are going through a family law matter, contact us….we promise we can help.

Depending on the nature of the divorce, there are two types of divorces:

If the spouses have decided to issue their divorce on a friendly basis and without disputes, then this may be accomplished through the uncontested divorce procedure. If there are minor children, then a prerequisite for the issuance of the uncontested divorce, is the agreement as to the custody of the children and visitation rights of the parents who does not get the custody. The uncontested divorce is completed through a notarial Deed that then needs to be registered at the competent Registry. The uncontested divorce procedure is a much faster and cost-effective legal procedure, as both spouses consent for the issuance of their divorce

If, on the other hand, the spouses do not come to an agreement for an uncontested divorce, then the Greek legal system provides for the contested divorce. This is a lengthier procedure and it involves the submission of a lawsuit and the hearing of the lawsuit before a Judge. Once the Court ruling becomes final and irrevocable, the divorce may be registered at the competent Registry.

According to Article 1391 of the Greek Family Law (Civil Code), a right to receive alimony is recognized in case of separation and interruption of life in common. The spouse who terminates the marital life for an important reason has the right to request alimony. During the marriage, the spouses are under an obligation to contribute jointly to the family needs according to their resources. Therefore, in case of separation, the spouse that had the least contribution to the family needs is entitled to receive alimony in Greece in order to continue to have the same living standard.

The obligation of child support only applies towards children that cannot provide for their own maintenance. It should be noted that the parent's obligation to support his/her children may continue and after the age of 18 if the children are studying or cannot financial support themselves. Both parents have the obligation to support their children according to their means. Each case is different and the Courts take into consideration, when ruling on the child support that a parent is to give, the financial status of each parent.

When a child is born out of wedlock, only once the fatherhood of the child is legally acknowledged, the father is obliged to pay child support. However, if the mother of the child has financial problems and the fatherhood of the child is very probable, then the Court may order the alleged father to pay child support through injunction measures and up until the Court determines the paternity of the child born out of wedlock.

If the parents of the children may not decide which parent will have the physical custody of the children, then the Greek Courts may order for the physical custody by assigning it to one of the parents, whom the Court considers most appropriate to exercise it. If, however, the parents agree to continue to share physical custody after the divorce, the Court may decide that both parents can continue to exercise the custody, provided that they also agree on the children’s residence. The Court does have the authority to divide the physical custody between the parents or assign it to a third party. According to Greek Law, it is possible that the Court will regulate the custody of the children even if there is no Divorce among the parents of the children, i.e. in case that there is a separation of the spouses.
When the Court has given physical custody of a child to one parent, the other parent has visitation rights. The parent’s visitation rights may be requested by the Court, through a petition. According to Greek Law, it is possible to request from the Courts temporary injunction measures for the regulation of the relations between parents and children, which include visitation rights.

If the Hague Convention of International Child Abduction has been ratified by both countries, Greece and the country of residence of the child, then the Convention applies when a child is wrongfully removed from a signatory country and retained in another signatory country. The Convention applies to any child who was habitually resident in a Contracting State immediately before any breach of custody or access right. The removal or the retention of a child is to be considered wrongful when it is in breach of rights of custody attributed to a person, either jointly or alone, under the law of the state in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention; and at the time of removal or retention those rights were actually exercised, either jointly or alone, or would have been so exercised but for the removal or retention.

The judicial or administrative authorities of Contracting States shall act expeditiously in proceedings for the return of children.

According to Article 1400 of the Greek Civil Code, if a marriage is dissolved and the property of one of the spouses has since the marriage increased, the other spouse is entitled to claim the attribution of that part of the increase, if he/she proves that he/she indeed contributed to such increase. There is a presumption that the spouse contributed in one third of the increase, except if the spouse proves greater or lesser contribution or no contribution at all. The Supreme Court has held (case 1889/2007) that contribution to the increase of the other spouse’s property does not solely amount to capital funds. The contribution may even include services provided to the marital house, which can be assessed in money. These services may even be the caring and upbringing of the children for which the other spouse saved expenses and increased his property. The assessment of the services provided by the spouse may be estimated based on a presumed salary that the spouse would have gained if he/she was working, but instead sacrificed such professional career for the family’s benefit .

Property acquired by the spouses by way of donation, inheritance or through acquisition by the disposal of the proceeds of such donation or inheritance is not included in the increase of the spouses’ property.