It is a common misconception that parties may conclude a pre-nuptial agreement or apply a pre-nuptial agreement made in a country other than Cyprus to regulate the division of their property in the event of the dissolution of their marriage.

In Cyprus pre-nuptial agreements are considered to undermine public police and the institution of marriage and are therefore not considered valid (article 26 of Re Law of Contracts, Cap 149 in translation “Every agreement restrictive of the freedom to marry is void”).

It is important to highlight that Cyprus law does protect the property of each individual prior to their marriage (article 13 of the Law Regulating Property Relations of Spouses (Law 232,1991). In the event of dissolution or annulment of a marriage where one spouse’s property has increased the other spouse may claim contribution to this increase with a presumption of 1/3 contribution unless proven to be less or greater.

Jurisdiction. The Family Courts of Cyprus will have jurisdiction, even where neither party is a permanent resident or citizen of Cyprus where the parties or one of the parties is resident in Cyprus. Residence means any continuous period of stay in excess of three months (article 11(3) Law No.23/1990). However, when the dispute involves property then there is no need for the parties or one of the parties to have residence in Cyprus.

In some cases Family Courts of Religious Groups may have jurisdiction.

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