Everything you need to know about marriage in Cyprus
Over 16,000 marriages are performed in Cyprus, a Middle East country, every year by Cypriots and other foreign nationals. There are two main types of marriages performed in the country, and they are performed in totally different ways. Civil and religious marriages are the most common types of marriage in Cyprus. Religious marriages are often combined with traditional marriages and classified as being the same thing. With these types of marriages, couples solemnize their marriage under the principles of their religious faith or body. Civil marriages are performed in formal ceremonies at the Register, and they generally do not include any form of custom or marriage ritual. In fact, most couples who perform civil marriages are present with only their witnesses and some members of their family or friends.
Couples who want to get married in Cyprus are required to submit several documents and obtain the marriage application form and other paperwork in person. Getting married in the country cannot be done through a proxy or online. The legal marriage age in the country is 18 years, and the general legal age of consent is 17 years. In the past, the marriage age used to be 16 years, but this has been raised, and marriage between minors may result in invalidity and legal challenges. The average marriage age in Cyprus is 30 years.
Most of the people in Cyprus take time before getting married to focus on their education and pursue jobs to be able to support a family. Even though the average marriage age is high in comparison to other countries, there are still a lot of divorces in the country every year. In the country, the average statistic is that 1 in 5 marriages celebrated every year will eventually result in divorce. Continue reading to find out more about marriages in Cyprus.
Civil marriages are one of the most commonly performed marriages in Cyprus, mainly due to the fact that this type of marriage is legally binding. A civil marriage performed in Cyprus holds legal status in the country and other countries abroad. Another reason this type of marriage is popular is because it generally involves no restrictions in terms of background or religious beliefs. Cypriots are able to get married civilly with no issues regarding their religious faith, ethnicity, gender, or race. Civil marriages take place at the town hall or any other authorized venue. There is flexibility allowed with the wedding location, and couples are allowed to choose the location they most prefer; however, such a location must be authorized by the registrar before it is allowed.
To get married in another venue, there are additional fees charged, and foreigners must be residents of Cyprus before the actual marriage date. This period is only three days long and quite short. Within the three days preceding the marriage, a special license may be provided to the spouse. This 3-day rule does not apply to everyone getting married in Cyprus, though. It is only applicable to spouses who apply to the marriage officer so as to obtain a special license with the payment of an additional fee. If this is not the case, the marriage can only be performed after a waiting period of 15 days from when the notice of marriage was submitted. Also, such a spouse will need to have been residing in Cyprus for at least 10 days before the fixed marriage date.
The civil registration process begins with a marriage application, which must be submitted in person at the marriage office where the marriage will take place. The chosen marriage office must be in the municipality where either or both of the couple reside. To get married in Cyprus, certain documents must be submitted by both spouses, and it is the duty of the concerned authorities or marriage office to go through the documents submitted to ensure they are real and legit.
All documentation provided by both spouses must be original, and it must also have been translated into English by an accredited translator before submission. Foreign spouses who obtain some of their required documents from countries or authorities abroad must ensure the documents are apostilled with an authorization stamp. The spouses have three days before the wedding ceremony to submit the necessary documents to the marriage officer in the municipality of their choice. Below, the documents that must be provided by the bride and groom are listed.
- National ID or a valid passport with a valid period of at least 6 months
- Government-issued birth certificate carrying the names of the partners as well as their respective parents.
- Both partners are required to submit photocopies of the picture page of their passport.
- Two witnesses must be provided by both spouses.
- Divorce or death certificate. This document applies to previously married spouses who are now separated or widowed.
- Certificate of no impediment to marriage This document must be provided by a foreign spouse to show they can legally perform a marriage in Cyprus.
- Deed poll certificate This is paperwork that may be required by partners who change their names before marriage.
Religious marriages are recognized and protected by law in Cyprus, but not under all religions or denominations. The most common religions in Cyprus include Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenians, Roman Catholics, Islam, and Maronites. Generally, the most popular denomination is the Greek Orthodox Church. Spouses who are members of churches other than the Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches must meet all of the legal requirements outlined above. Before a church wedding, spouses must meet with the religious leader at their place of worship to discuss the preparation and things they will need to know or do.
There are various documents that are requested from Greek Orthodox Christians before they are allowed to perform their marriage in the church. These include baptismal certificates, birth certificates, medical health certificates, and a civil record. To begin the marriage process, both partners must go to the church where they intend to get married to see the priest and discuss their marriage and plans with him. The priest is in charge of determining if the spouses are mature enough and ready for marriage. The priest conducts a prenuptial investigation in this regard. The regional bishop is also involved because he must go through the documents before they are sent back to the priest so that the marriage ceremony can take place.
Marriage traditions in Cyprus
This is a unique marriage tradition in Cyprus, where a red scarf is worn by the bride as a symbol of her virginity. Here, the bride's parents and her close friends tie a red scarf around her waist on her wedding day. This is a tradition that is still performed in some rural communities.
Throwing the Bridal Bouquet
Following the church ceremony, the bridesmaids gather around the bride, and the bride backs them up to throw her bridal bouquet or garter. The belief is that the person who catches the bouquet is next in line to get married. To spice things up, the bride may be blindfolded before throwing the bouquet.
This refers to the ceremonial bread that is sent out by the bride's family as a form of wedding invitation. The bread may be sent in conjunction with other items, depending on the family. Food and drinks play a huge role in Cypriot weddings, both before and during the ceremony.
Same-sex and polygamous marriages
Marriages performed between people of the same sex have no legal grounds in Cyprus. The country only allows same-sex couples to form registered partnerships and unions. Same-sex unions became legal in Cyprus in 2015, and spouses are able to freely engage in same-sex sexual activity. Some of the marriage benefits available to opposite-sex couples may not be enjoyed by same-sex couples in the country.
Polygamy is illegal in all forms in Cyprus. A man is only allowed to marry one woman, and vice versa. This type of marriage is considered bigamy, which results in the payment of fines and a possible jail term. Cyprus only recognizes monogamous marriages, and even the most widely practiced religions in the country do not allow polygamy, so these laws align.
Marriage Laws and Rights, Costs and Duties
It is mandatory for those who wish to enter into marriage in Cyprus to abide by the laws of marriage in the country before they can register or contract marriage. Marriage is defined as a legal arrangement involving two parties who have voluntarily agreed to form a union and be recognized as husband and wife. This definition implies that the laws governing marriage do not accept or recognize marriage between people of the same sex; however, civil partnerships and informal unions are permitted in the country. It also indicates that consent from both parties must be obtained before marriage can be contracted. Couples enter into marriage voluntarily, without the use of force or threats; any marriage contracted with the use of force is null and void.
Both civil and religious marriages are legally recognized in Cyprus; however, certain religious institutions require couples to hold a civil ceremony before they can be permitted to hold a religious marriage. The Catholic Church, for example, requires couples to hold a civil ceremony before they can be allowed to celebrate a religious ceremony. The Anglican and Greek Orthodox Churches, however, do not require this. A marriage certificate obtained from any of the above churches is legally binding. Both the civil and religious marriage certificates are globally recognized in any part of the world. Couples are required to have two witnesses at the time of marriage, one to represent the groom and one to represent the bride, and they must have all the valid documents required of witnesses.
Before marriage can take place, couples have to file an application for marriage in person, after which a license to marry will be issued. If any of the couple has been married in the past, it is compulsory for him or her to submit proof of the dissolution of such marriage; a certificate of divorce in the case of separation or a certificate of death of the previous spouse in the case of widowhood would suffice. The legal age for marriage in Cyprus is set at 18 years without parental consent or the permission of a judge; couples who are below the permitted age for marriage must obtain parental permission, and in the absence of one, permission must be gotten from a legal guardian before marriage can be legally binding.
Foreigners are allowed to marry in Cyprus; in fact, many foreigners from around the world come to get married in Cyprus; however, they must have permission to get married from their various home countries before they can contract marriage in Cyprus. Non-Cypriots and Cypriots must be able to prove their state of singlehood by proving to appropriate authorities that there is no legal impediment to marriage. Foreigners have to be in Cyprus at least 3 working days before the chosen date of marriage. Civil weddings take place in the town hall or at venues chosen by the couple, which must be authorized (authorization can be obtained by obtaining a license or paying extra fees), and they must be presided over by a civil registry official. Religious weddings take place at the couples' place of worship only after all requirements made by various religious institutions have been met.
All citizens have equal rights and must be allowed to exercise such rights without any form of limitation, regardless of sex, age, race, or marital status. The institution of marriage allows the equality of rights between husband and wife; they are both considered equals in everything, including property, inheritance, reproduction, etc. The husband as well as the wife have equal rights to work without any restrictions and to receive meaningful payment for their work. Discrimination at the workplace as a result of one's marital status is a violation of this right and is prohibited in the country.
Couples have the right to bear children, adopt them, and raise them according to their various moral and religious beliefs. They both have the legal right to divorce and to have it finalized. After it has been concluded that the marriage cannot be retrieved, the couple can decide to file for dissolution of marriage on mutual grounds or for specific reasons. They both have the right to receive custody of the children, if any; the spouse that best understands the children and can provide for their needs is granted custody.
Spouses have equal property rights; they both have the right to decide which marital property regime the marriage is contracted under, whether it is a joint community of property or a regime where property is owned separately. They can also decide to sign a prenuptial agreement at the time of marriage so that, in the event of separation, property would not need to be divided equally among couples. They both have the right to inherit property and all financial assets. At the demise of one of the couple, the surviving spouse automatically inherits the property of the deceased spouse. The surviving spouse has the right to own, use, and discard property as they see fit.
The cost of getting married in Cyprus is considerably affordable. After all laws have been fulfilled and couples have been granted the license to contract marriage, they can then be thinking about how much it costs to get married. For couples who wish to contract a civil marriage in the country, A civil marriage in Cyprus costs around €128 (approximately £113). If couples wish to fast-track the wedding process, they should expect to spend around €281, which is approximately £247.
Cyprian weddings are mostly intimate, and there is often no need for a long list of guests; the cost of an average wedding with at least 30 guests is estimated to be around €5000. Couples can decide to hire a wedding planner to help with the proper management of the event, which would definitely come at a cost that is estimated at €800. Accommodations for guests for at least seven nights at a respectable hotel cost around €3,000; couples can decide to exclude this cost from the wedding budget.
The reception venue for the ceremony costs an average of €1000, the flowers and decorations cost around €800, the attire and accessories of the couple cost an average of €600, the food and drinks cost around €900 each, depending on the type of food that is served to guests, and finally, the photography for the event costs around €345 Couples can decide to have a more intimate event; therefore, this cost is not fixed and can change according to the couple's desires.
The family is considered to be the foundation of society, so couples have an important role to play when it comes to carrying out duties and responsibilities in the home. The husband and wife have a duty to ensure the smooth and proper management of the home. Roles and responsibilities are equally divided and are not based on gender norms; couples can carry out their specific roles interchangeably.
The wife is obligated to provide care for the children and her husband due to the generally tender nature of women, but this role is not limited to the wife alone; in the absence of the wife or in a bid to provide assistance, the husband can also provide care for the children in the home. The husband is required to provide for the needs of the family, but they are both responsible for this. Both the husband and the wife have an obligation to contribute jointly to the welfare of the family.
They both have a duty to one another to love, provide care for, and mutually support one another. They are also to provide a conducive environment for the development of the children and ensure that they have a sound educational and moral background.
Cyprus is a beautiful island country and a popular spot for destination weddings. Foreign spouses from different countries around the world get married in Cyprus every year due to its amazing scenery as well as top locations for wedding ceremonies like beaches, parks, etc. Couples are allowed to choose where they would like to perform their marriage; however, it must be authorized by the registrar.
The legal age of marriage in Cyprus was recently increased, and both spouses are required to have reached the age of 18 before contracting a marriage. As previously stated, minors may be allowed to marry with parental consent under special circumstances. This article is a complete guide to everything you need to know about marriage in Cyprus.
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