Greek Divorce Law reserves some surprises to the uninformed breaking couple. This brief article will introduce some key aspects to care about.
The selection of Greece as the forum and the jurisdiction in order for a married couple to issue a divorce depends on various factors.
The most important of them is the place of the last common residence of the couple or the place of their common nationality or the place with which the couple is the most closely connected.
Please note that in Greece, the concept of ‘legal separation’ does not exist. Legal separation entails the termination of legal responsibility for the other spouse, however the spouses remain married and in this way is distinct from divorce
In the case of a divorce, the issues that may arise are varied and crucial for example, distribution of marital property, the use of the family home, parent-child contact, spousal and child support, child custody, etc. As a result, the Greek legislation does not permit spouses to represent themselves at court but rather they must have a lawyer to represent them.
Greek Divorce Law: by consent or contested divorce
There are two types of divorce in Greece: divorce by consent and contested divorce. Even though it may appear that the choice depends only on the relationship that the spouses maintain with each other at the time they decide to get a divorce, this is not always true and a lawyer will help you with this decision.
For example, in a situation where there were allegations on the part of wife that the husband had committed serious criminal offences against third parties, of which proof existed. As a result, the relationship between the couple was under intense pressure.
However, a consensual divorce was chosen, as a contested divorce could harm the reputation of the husband as well as his financial stability, with negative consequences for the psychological health of their child and the provision of child maintenance.
In divorce by consent, the couple agree to dissolve the marriage between them, without litigation proceedings. The affirmation of the dissolution of the marriage is made before a public notary (and not a judge) and the only legal prerequisite in order to have such type of divorce is that the marriage has lasted at least six months.
On the other hand, in a contested divorce, either one of the spouses may bring an action seeking dissolution of the marriage, on stated grounds, before the single-member court of first instance of the place of their usual residence, or both spouses may bring such actions separately.
It should be noted that under Greek Divorce law, separation for a time period of at least 2 years is a self-sufficient ground for divorce by reason of breakdown.