Cypriot family and succession laws regulate two models of couple's relationships:

  • MARRIAGE between persons of different sex

  • REGISTERED PARTNERSHIP between persons of opposite or same sex

Marriage is regulated under the Constitution of Cyprus and the Marriage Act 104 (I)/2003. Registered partnership is regulated under Civil Union Act 184(I)/2015. Informal cohabitation are not rare in Cyprus but remain unregulated by law.




Informal cohabitation is unregulated by law.



Links to applicable law

  • FAMILY AND SUCCESSION: Constitution of Cyprus, Marriage Act 104 (I)/2003, Matrimonial Property of Spouses Act 232/1991, Civil Union Act 184(I)/2015, Wills and Succession Act





  • Cyprus is a state with a mixed (hybrid) legal system and the main source of substantive family law are various laws. Art. 111 of the Constitution applies with respect to marriages between members of the Greek Orthodox Church or the three religious groups. The constitutional provisions establishing the Turkish Communal Chamber govern marriages between members of the Turkish community. Art. 111 also governs the grounds for divorce applying to marriages of members of the Greek Orthodox Church, the establishment and composition of the Family Courts and the Appellate Family Courts, as well as the attempt to compromise (conciliation) and the spiritual dissolution of the marriage and the choice of civil marriage for members of the Greek Community.

  • Art. 3(1) of the Marriage Act (104 (I)/2003) provide a (legal) definition of marriage which can be established/exist only between women and men, namely not between persons of the same sex. Art. 22(2) of the Constitution governs the applicable law in case of mixed marriages.

  • Matrimonial Property of Spouses Act 232/1991 regulates the maintenance and matrimonial property of the spouses in case of separation or divorce. Identical provisions apply to the civil partners pursuant to section 23-32 of the Civil Union Law 184 (I)/2015.

Marriage establishes a reciprocal obligation of cohabitation for both spouses. Decisions concerning family life are taken by mutual consent. The spouses have a mutual obligation to maintain each other in accordance with section 3 of Law 232/1991. Each spouse is bound to contribute according to his or her means. Such means includes not only the actual income of spouses but also their total income potential.

Prenuptial agreements between the spouses and any agreements for the future settlement of the matrimonial property, concluded between the spouses after the marriage, but prior to separation, are not valid under Cypriot law. It is only after the spouses have separated that the claim for contribution to the increase of the matrimonial property provided in section 14 of Law 232/1991 may be enforced. This is because the provisions of Law 232/1991 are of a mandatory character and cannot be undermined by private agreements signed between the parties (presumably under duress) which either restrict or exclude the right safeguarded under section 14 of Law 232/1991.

Marriage does not affect the proprietary independence of the spouses and civil partners. Each of them acquires hia or her own property and is liable towards his or her own creditors. The spouses may acquire joint property and in that case they have an undivided share in such property. If the marriage is annulled or dissolved or parties have been separated, either party may claim his or her contribution to the increase of the property of other spouse. Such contribution is rebuttably presumed at one-third of the increase.

If the spouses have acquired property from donations, inheritance, legacies or other ex gratia cause, this property is not taken into account when calculating whether there has been increase of the property of the spouses. Provisions related to contribution are replicated in the Civil Union Act 84 (I)/2015 with regards to civil partners. Section 14 of the Act 232/1991 applies only with respect to persons who were spouses and have either divorced or separated or their marriage has been annulled. Section 14 does not apply to persons who were engaged, were living in a free union, or otherwise never married.

  • In succession law, surviving spouse is entitled to a share irrespective of whether the deceased had made a valid will or not. The share of the surviving spouse shall first be distributed and the remaining part of estate shall be distributed to the persons of kin of the deceased. Surviving spouse shall be entitled to a share in the statutory portion and in the undisposed portion of the estate.



  • Civil union between opposite-sex or same-sex couples according to the Civil Union Act 184(I)/2015A, has the same legal validity and consequences as a marriage, with the exception of the right to adoption.