Divorce in Cyprus: Parental Care

An important dimension of Family Law is parental care. In general, this particular term denotes the right and the responsibility of parents towards minor children. Furthermore, it is exercised by both parents. That is to say, both of the parents are responsible for the welfare of their children, and at the same time they have the right to have a contact with them.

In Cyprus, parental care is regulated by the Law No. 216/1990. In case there is a dispute between the parents then either parent may apply to Court so that the conflict to be resolved. Cyprus jurisdiction applies only if one of the parties or both of them is a resident of the Republic of Cyprus for more than three months before the submission of a divorce application at the Family Court.

According to the Articles 6 and 7 of the Law No. 216/1990, each decision made by the parents or by the Court should focus on the best interest of the children. The judgement of the Court should respect the equality between the parents and make no distinction based on gender, language, religion, convictions, nationality, ethnic or social background. Additionally, the Court should take into consideration children’s wish only in case they are mature enough to decide for themselves.

In the case of divorce or separation, all the issues related to parental care are regulated by the Court following the provisions of Article 14 of the Law No. 216/1990. If the parents agree among themselves on matters related to parental care, then the Court does not intervene. In this point, it should be stressed that the parent who does not live with the children maintains his or her right to have a contact and communication with his or her children.

Regulation:

According to the Article 14, the Court assigns parental care to one parent or both of them if they agree. At the same time, the Court defines the place of residence of the children. In addition, the Court may allocate the exercise of parental care between the parents or assign it to a guardian.

The decision of the Court will take into account children’s relations with their parents and siblings, and also the existence of any agreement among the parents. As mentioned before, the primary criterion is always children’s interest.

Communication between children and relatives:

The Article 17 clarifies that parent who does not live with the children maintains his or her right to have a personal contact and communication with them. The Court intervenes only in case of an emerging dispute concerning the right to personal contact and communication between children and parents. The decision of the Court takes into consideration the welfare of the children by applying the provisions of Article 6.

Grandparents and other relatives have the right to have a personal contact and communication with the children. Furthermore, it should be noted that nobody has the right to prevent the personal contact between the children and relatives unless the interest of the children is not safeguarded.

The Court may regulate issues related to the exercise or not of the right to contact and communication between children and other relatives.

Revoke of parental care:

In case that one the parents does not respond to his or her responsibilities, associated with the exercise of parental care, then the Court may revoke from him or her parental care partially or wholly. The Court may assign parental care to the other parent or a guardian, totally or partially.

Furthermore, the Court might order a total or partial revoke of parental care from both parents and assign it to a guardian only in the case that other measures had not been efficient or to protect the physical and mental health of the children. The Court regulates the exercise of parental care granted to a guardian.

Change of circumstances:

The Article 20 stresses that the Court may transform or recall an order administering parental care. For this reason, one of the parents or the Director of the Social Welfare Services must submit an application to the Court. In addition to this, it should be proven that the circumstances have been altered since the date of issuing of the order regulating parental care.

Caring For Baby: Daycare, Home Care, Parent Care, Family Care

Mother-to-be may work up to time to have the baby. Then the poor woman learns that sleep is often something she vaguely remembers from the past as she and the little one, with help from Dad, learn to adjust. After a short time, if the mother had worked before and needs to work again, the baby must be left somewhere during working hours. The choices of where baby will stay are mainly from daycare, in-home care, parent care, or family care.

Daycares come in two flavors: an organizational type, authorized daycare or a smaller daycare provided in someone’s home. The organizational or school type does provide “classes” for children enrolled, but there are anywhere from ten to fifteen children per “teacher” or care-giver. Most will not accept infants under three months old.

Some smaller in-home type daycares provide more individual attention for children enrolled and provides a more likely place for infants under three months of age. The problem is that too many “private” daycares accept too many charges for the number of adults caring for the young ones. Also, learning experiences aren’t always provided.

Home care may come in the form of a nanny or other care-giver who comes to the home of the infant or child. If both parents must work, and they have the income, this may be the “ideal” situation for the child and parents, as long as the care-giver can and will become a nurturing replacement for a parent during working hours. The baby or child should have more individual attention than in daycare.

Parent care, if the parent is willing to be at home with the baby, is probably the most beneficial for the child. Note the use of parent care rather than mother care. One couple has worked out a schedule so that while the mother works, the father stays home with the baby. The mother’s income is considerably higher than the father’s. Another couple change shifts: The mother works days while the father cares for the child; and the father works nights while the mother is home with baby. Values and experiences parents wish for the child aren’t compromised under such care.

Family care is another option that some parents find. A grandparent, aunt, cousin, or other family member either cares for the baby in the parents’ home or in his or her home. In such situations, if the care-giver is able, the child receives all the individual care as in any home and hopefully the training needed to prepare him or her for school and society.

The right decision depends on the family situation and even the sacrifices a mother or parents are giving to make for a baby. A must, though, if a baby is to be left in another’s care, is for parents to research and investigate before the need for child care arises.