Divorce in Greece
Updated January 2013
Pursuant to Articles 1438 through 1441 of the Greek Civil Code, divorce is granted only on the basis of a court ruling. Under the provisions of the new Family Code (Law 1329/1983), there are three grounds under which a divorce can be issued.
- Disruption of the marital bond. In such a case, either spouse can apply for a divorce against the other. Disruption of the marital bond can be based on grounds of bigamy, adultery, or desertion. A charge of disruption is justified when the spouses have been separated for four years. In this case, even the spouse who is responsible for the separation can apply for the divorce.
- Absence. Either spouse can apply for a divorce, provided the disappearance of the other party is established by a court ruling.
- Common consent. The court will issue a divorce on the grounds of common consent only if the marriage has lasted at least six months. Both parties who wish to dissolve their marriage are required to submit a written agreement signed by both parties and their attorneys. If they have minor children, the above agreement should be accompanied by another written agreement that regulates the custody of the children until the court decision.
If either spouse is not self-supporting, he or she has the right to request alimony under the following circumstances:
- If due to age or health, he or she cannot start or continue his or her profession;
- If he or she has the responsibility to raise a minor child and thus cannot work;
- If he or she cannot find employment until he or she completes some educational training. The right for alimony ends if the beneficiary remarries or lives together in a free relationship with another person. The alimony must be paid in cash every month unless another agreement is reached.Since there is no bilateral divorce agreement between Greece and the United States, the Greek divorce decree must meet the procedural requirements of the particular state in the United States in order to be recognized by that state.
The Embassy has consulted with the Greek Ministry of Justice and the General Secretariat of Equality to develop this information. Responsibility for setting family law procedures and policy, lies entirely with the Greek government.