Greece has simplified procedures for consensual divorce and couples can now take separate ways sealed with a notary’s signature instead of seeking long court proceedings. However, couples that have been married at a Greek Orthodox church will need an extra procedure in order to dissolve the marriage spiritually.
Law 4509/2017 that was published in the official Government Gazette on Wednesday, requires that both partners agree to the divorce, and stipulates fines for violation of terms, including alimony and child support terms.
Once the couple has sorted out the visitation issues of their underage children, if any, they can either visit a notary public in person or send their lawyers to represent them before a notary.
However, the terms vary for couples married at a Greek Orthodox church. In this case, the procedure for the dissolution of the marriage is ordered by the relevant prosecutor in a first-instance court, following the application of both parties, with the notarial agreement attached.
The paperwork is then submitted to the church council of the area where the marriage took place. This is considered obligatory to dissolve the marriage spiritually.
The new law also punishes by a one-year jail term anyone violating the alimony agreement, “forcing the rightful recipient to undergo privation or to accept the assistance of others” and punishes by a minimum of six months any one of the parents who violates the terms of visitation and communication rights of the other parent.
Greece allows couples to choose whether they will marry at the local City Hall (civilian wedding) or/and or at the church.