JT Law's Sydney team
In case of a divorce, when there are minor children, one the most important issues that concern the parents is the regulation of child custody in Greece.
According to Greek Family Law (Civil Code), during the marriage both parents have joint custody of the child. Custody includes care of the child's person, management of his/her property and the representation of the child in any matter, legal transaction or Court action relating to the child's person and/or to the child's property as well as decision making regarding the child's educational needs, place of residence etc.
In case of a divorce, both parents continue to have the legal custody of the minor child; however, there is a need for a regulation of physical custody. According to Article 1513 of the Civil Code, in the case of a divorce physical custody in Greece is regulated by the Court.
The most common solution that Greek Courts order for the regulation of physical custody is to assign it to one of the parents, whom the Court considers most appropriate to exercise it. If 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 regarding the place of residence of the child. Moreover, the Court may divide the physical custody between the parents.
The Court, in order to issue a judgment regarding child custody in Greece shall take into consideration the relation of the child with the parents and his/her parents and his/her brothers and sisters, as well as any agreements existing between the parents regarding the parental care and the management of the child's property. The most important factor based on which the Court rules is the child's best interest. In order for the Greek Court to specify the child's interest and decide regarding the physical custody, the Court shall consider the relationship of the child with each of his/her parents, with his/her brothers and sisters, with his grandparents and with other persons such us with his friends, neighbourhood, school etc.
In case of an uncontested (mutual consent) divorce, it is mandatory that the parents agree regarding the exercise of the custody. According to Article 1441 of the Greek law (Civil Code-Family Law Section), if there are minor children, the uncontested divorce can be issued only if the parents submit a written agreement regulating the physical custody of the children and the non-custodial parent's visitation schedule. The written agreement is affirmed by the Court and regulates the exercise of the custody. At any event, in case that the facts change, it is possible to request an alteration of the custody order.
The parent who exercises the physical custody (epimeleia) decides regarding the place of residence of the child. The parent with whom the child does not reside, has a right of personal communication with the child. Moreover, the grandparents and great-grandparents also have a right to communicate with the child. The relevant rights of communication with the child are regulated by the Court or through a written agreement between the parties.
The exercise of physical custody and visitation is regulated by the competent Court after the submission of a lawsuit. Moreover, according to Article 735 of the Civil Courts' Procedure Code, it is possible to request temporary injunction measures for the regulation of the relations between parents and children.
All the above procedures for the issuance of a Divorce, alimony, child support and children custody in Greece, can be accomplished through a limited Power of Attorney to a specialised Greek lawyer, like our Law Firm in Greece.