BUYING A PROPERTY IN GREECE

Buying a property in Greece is an excellent investment considering that the housing prices in Greece are still low due to the financial crisis. We shall not forget that despite the financial crisis, Greece remains a European country with a unique climate, great private health and educational infrastructure, and with very low crime rate. The prices for buying a Greek property are considerably lower than those in Italy, Spain, France and other European countries. From a legal perspective, buying a property in Greece is a complicated procedure which could be proved tricky for a foreign investor. Our Greek lawyers can responsibly undertake all the necessary actions regarding the purchase of a Greek property. Mainly, our Greek lawyers can objectively and with honesty make a financial assessment of the property, by taking into account the buyer’s – investor’s interests, and not the other parties’ interests, such as the buyer or the real estate agent who get involved into the transaction. Our long experience in the Greek land market and our professionalism may guarantee to you that we will complete the purchase of a Greek property with success and safety.

The procedure for buying a Greek property includes many stages and the legal support by our Greek lawyers – specialised in such matters – is provided in every step. More analytically

 

1.Finding a suitable property.

 

Our Law Firm may bring you into touch with the most serious real estate agencies in Greece which you can trust. Above this, after finding the best property for you, our Greek lawyers may make an independent financial assessment in order to assure you that the property’s sale price is indeed a fair one, considering matters, such as the location, the ‘’fair value’’ set by the Greek Government, other past purchases in the same location, and generally comparative data.

 

2.Negotiations for buying a property in Greece – Presale agreement.

 

Usually, the sellers treat the foreign investors as an opportunity for selling their property in a higher price compared to the one, had the buyer been a Greek citizen., or for imposing unfair sale conditions. The presence of a Greek lawyer during the negotiations will guarantee to you that no unfair conditions will be imposed neither will anyone exploit you.

When the whole procedure is complete, a presale agreement is usually signed between the buyer and the seller, where the terms and conditions of the final purchase are described and a payment in advance is given.

It should be underlined that this presale agreement has a minor legal force, and this is not known to the foreign investors. Our Law Firm will take care so that the terms and conditions of the presale agreement are suitable and do not jeopardise your interests, that the advance payment is reasonable, and that you are not at risk of losing it.

 

3.Due diligence of the property.

 

The due diligence procedure for buying a property includes the check of deeds, mainly whether the property has a mortgage or other weights. Considering that in Greece the Land Register is not yet completed, the due diligence procedure is very important and absolutely necessary for every investor, and it should be done by an experienced Greek lawyer in order that the buyer is certain about his investment.

Our Greek lawyers, specialised in the Greek land market, will inform you about the building regulation regarding the use of the building and its shared parts. Many times, when a foreign investor buys a property for a special use, either professional or commercial, he later discovers that this use is prohibited according to the building regulation. Our Greek lawyers will check the building regulation and will inform you whether this specific use is permitted or not.

In case that the property is near the sea or a forest, it should be checked whether there are restrictions imposed by the law in favor of the sea and the forests protection. This check is absolutely necessary when the investor wishes to buy a land or a building which is located in such an area.

 

4.The urban legality of property.

 

Regarding the property you may buy in Greece, it needs to be checked whether it was built according to its planning permission or not, if it is legal or there are parts of the building which were built later, something very common in the Greek land market. Our Greek lawyers will indicate a specialised engineer to do this check, in order to be certain that your property satisfies all the requirements set out by the law and by the planning permission, before you proceed to the purchase. In case that there are some illegal parts of the property, there is a possibility, according to the Greek legislation, of presenting the necessary documents and paying a penalty, so that your property gets ‘’legalized’’. Our Law Firm is in a position of undertaking the whole procedure.

 

5.Tax procedure.

 

Our specialised Greek lawyers will undertake the submission of your tax statement for buying a property in the tax authorities and the payment of the necessary taxes, in order to be able to proceed with the purchase.

 

6.Preparing and signing the contract.

 

Our Greek lawyers in cooperation with our notary, or any notary indicated by you, will prepare the purchase contract and will guarantee that you do not have any problem with the transfer of the property. During the signing of the contract our lawyers will represent you so that you have a legal support, and they will also proceed with other important matters such as the issue of cheques.

 

7.Registration of the purchase contract to the Land Register.

 

Our Greek lawyers will register the purchase contract to the Land Register and will deliver to you a complete file with copies of your contract and copies of the necessary certificates, which prove that the specific property is now belonging to you and is free from mortgages or other weights.

 

8.Support after the purchase.

 

Owning a property in Greece makes necessary some further actions and care. We can undertake or support you with everything, such as:

Acting as your local representative for tax and legal issues.

Managing your property. We can help you lease your property, pay the utility bills, find and pay a cleaning service and all the other daily care.

 

GREEK LAND MARKET

The prices of Greek properties, compared to those in 2008 when the financial crises started, have been considerably reduced, in some cases even by 42%. Some areas recovered really quickly due to the high demand, such as Kolonaki, Plaka, Thisio, Monastiraki and Glyfada. More specifically, the Greek Statistical Authority has already recorded an increase of 10,8% since 2016, which is present until today. Therefore, the sustainability of the Greek Land Market should be taken for granted and there are high expectations of achieving even higher records.

Greece is now out of memorandum and this creates a safe harbor and promising possibilities for the Greek Land Market. The recent examples of Ireland, Cyprus and Portugal, which came out of memorandum and are until today showing a great increase in property prices, support this view. Greece is crossing the same path, the confidence is gradually being restored and investments in Greek Land Market are becoming more and more attractive, as there are still some great opportunities of Greek properties. Besides, demand is very high for two main reasons: first, because of the availability of the Greek Golden Visa, and second, due to the ever-growing tourism which creates great opportunities for taking a financial advantage of the Greek properties, especially through Airbnb and other electronic platforms.

An important factor that may influence the Greek Land Market is the property’s fair value. This is determined by the Greek Government and it constitutes the basis of calculating the unified property ownership tax. Moreover, the property’s fair value serves as a point of reference for the buyer in order to compare the fair with the commercial value, which is considerably higher in most times. At this point, an independent financial assessment by a lawyer who has an experience in the Greek Land Market and is independent from the real estate agent or the company that found the property is crucial. A specialised Greek lawyer may consult the buyer regarding the difference between the fair and the commercial price and the true value of the property.

Our Law Firm ‘’Stefanos Economou and Partners’’ has the knowledge and the expertise to undertake not only the legal part ( legal check, purchase contract, issue of Golden Visa ), but to make also an independent and objective financial assessment of the property’s commercial value. Our Greek lawyers have a long experience and may indicate to you when a purchase of a Greek property deserves its money, after considering factors, such as the condition of the property, the year of construction, the area, the possibility of leasing that property and up to what price, and the possible changes of its value in the near future.

Below, the new property’s fair values, set by the Greek Government, are outlined concerning the most famous areas in the center of Athens and in Athens Riviera.

 

FORMER PREFECTURE OF ATHENS NEW PRICES
1st ATTICA DISTRICT 950 8450
2nd ATTICA DISTRICT 950 9000
3rd  ATTICA DISTRICT 900 2350
4th ATTICA DISTRICT 900 1200
5th ATTICA DISTRICT 1050 1250
6th ATTICA DISTRICT 900 1500
7th ATTICA DISTRICT 1050 2850
ALIMOS 1300 2500
GLYFADA 1400 4450
DAFNI 1000 1150
PALAIO FALIRO 1300 2750
EASTERN ATTICA NEW PRICES
VARI 1150 3050
VOULA 1550 3600
VOULIAGMENI 2400 8900
LAGONISI 1100 2000
NEA MAKRI 900 1600
RAFINA 1250 1950
SARONIDA 1350 2300

 

GOLDEN VISA BY GREECE 

Any foreigner can acquire a Visa for Greece and Eby investing 250.000 euro in Greece. 

Our law office can assist you in finding a property or other investment which would entitle you to submit for a Golden Visa and undertake all the necessary legal work.  

Frequent Questions and Answers 

–       Does the residence permit give me the right to enter the other countries of Shengen or other EU countries? Are there any prerequisites for this? 

Yes. By virtue of the principle of equivalence between residence permits and long-stay visas (such as residence permits for property owners) every citizen of a third country who holds a long-stay visa – which validity is up to one year- can travel to other Member States for three months per trimester and has the right of multiple entries. 

–      Does the residence permit give me the right to work in Greece? Can my spouse, children and/ or legal representative of my company have access to the labor market? 

The residence permit does not provide you and members of your family with the right to work. An exception to this is the exercise of business activity as shareholder or Managing Director of a legal entity. 

–        Is the value added tax (VAT) included in the amount of 250.000€? Which is the investment’s amount if the title deed or deed of sale bears the name of both spouses? 

The amount of 250.000€ is the price written in the contract. Spouses – co-owners of the property who own it jointly have both the right to get residence permit. 

–        Can I possess more than one real estate with individual value less than 250.000€ and a total value equal to or greater? What value should the purchased real estate have in order to get a residence permit? 

Yes. The total minimum amount written in the contract should be at least 250.000€. 

–        Can I buy commercial property or a combination of commercial and residential property or land? 

The provisions of the law set the minimum amount of 250.000€ as contract price, without distinguishing between commercial and residential real estate. 

–        Does the residence permit give me the right to have access to the Greek educational system and public health? Can my children go to a Greek public school? 

You can have access to public education, but regarding health services you and members of your family must be insured for hospital expenses and medical care. 

–        Can I buy a car with greek signs in order to facilitate my transportation in the country? 

Of course, under the specific conditions set by the Ministry of Transport. 

–        Can I mortgage the real estate in order to get a loan? 

Yes, in proportion to the greeks. 

–        Have I to prove the source of my income? 

Yes. Your income should be demonstrated with documents showing the financial capability (eg certificate of a recognized bank class A or official financial institution or other recognized organization for the storage of securities) by attesting the existence of bank accounts or other securities, mainly bonds or shares. 

–        Is it necessary to buy the whole property by myself? Can all co-owners of real estate get a residence permit? 

No. You can choose to buy real estate in whole or jointly with other co – owners of the property. But residence permit is given to all co-owners, provided that each of them separately has invested the sum of 250.000€. 

However, you can buy a property of only 250.000€ jointly with your wife. 

–        What happens in case that I tarnish my criminal record in the country of origin or during my stay in Greece? 

The issue of residence permit is repealed. 

–        If I have got a long-stay visa for another Shengen country, am I obligated to cancel that visa in order to obtain a type D visa for Greece? 

With the long-stay visa for another Shengen country, you can enter the country and settle matters on the purchase of real estate. But visa type D is a prerequisite for the submission of the application for the issue of residence permit. Therefore, it is recommended that you obtain a visa type D in advance. 

–       For how many years can I get a residence permit? May the residence permit be renewed? 

The validity of the residence permit is for five (5) years. Then you can renew it for another 5 years provided that you still own the property. 

–        Can my wife and/or children obtain a residence permit? 

Yes. The children have to be minors. 

–        Have I to buy the property only as a physical person or can I purchase it through a company/ legal entity? 

According to the provisions of the law, you can possess real estate in Greece through a legal entity 

 

PROMOTION OF PHARMACEUTICAL

ADVERTISING OF MEDICINAL PRODUCTS IN GREECE

 

INTRODUCTION

Promotion of pharmaceutical products in Greece is highly regulated. The Association of Pharmaceutical Companies in Greece ( SFEE ) is a member of EFPIA and follows its Code of Conduct. In parallel the National Organization of Pharmacies ( EOF ) issues regularly circulars which put rules for the promotion of pharmaceutical products.

The present deals with some usual topics that the pharmaceutical companies face when advertising their products and includes the relevant provisions of the Code of Deontology of SFEE.

  1. To whom is advertising of medicinal products allowed?

The advertising of medicinal products depends on the kind of the medicinal product which is advertised.

For prescription medicines the advertising is allowed only to health care professionals.

For  non-prescription medicines the advertising is allowed also to the public.

  1. Which are the prerequisites of advertising prescription medicines?

For the prescription medicines, the Advertisements may only appear in professional publications, namely publications sent or delivered exclusively to health care professionals.

Generally, Advertisements are not permitted in audiovisual material or on the Internet, including online journals. However, they are allowed when the access is restricted by the use of a password to HCPs.

In every advertisement the prescribing information of the product ( SPC ) must be included. However, abbreviated advertisements are exempted from this obligation.

All information and claims must be correct, accurate, objective and unambiguous and must be based on relevant and comparable aspects of the medicinal products, as well as on an up-to-date evaluation of all the evidence, reflecting that evidence clearly. They must not be directly or indirectly misleading and they must not distort the scientific facts.

Direct or indirect promotion of misleading indications of the medicinal product, reference to outdated scientific data, putting forward inaccurate or unsubstantiated claims, misleading comparison with other medicinal products and generalization of isolated observations are prohibited.

Any information, claims or comparisons must be capable of scientific substantiation .(art. 5,6 of chapter A of Code of SFEE)

 

  1. Is the comparative advertising of medicinal products allowed?

In general, the comparison is allowed but it must be capable of scientific substantiation.

Comparative claims of superiority or non-inferiority and the like are only permitted if they are risen from the level of statistical significance in Head to Head, specially designed randomised comparative trials, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, aimed at comparing the safety/efficacy parameters and other properties of the medicinal product (primary or secondary end points of the trial).

Hanging comparisons such as “it is better”, “better safety profile”, etc. without stating what the medicinal product is compared with are not allowed.

Along with comparisons and/or statistical data, the following must always be stated:

  1. the statistical significance level (P/P value or confidence intervals) must be stated for data that are statistically non-significant;
  2. further statistical data analysis, when such data have not been published (i.e. extrapolation of results by the company), is not allowed.

Where the clinical significance is not known, this must be stated on the same page.

All factors under comparison must be stated, accompanied by clarifications where and as necessary.

Data from patient registries must not be used as a basis for comparative claims. When such data are presented, the identity of the registry must be indicated and a clarifying notice to the following effect must be added:

“The results shown here have been derived from a patient registry and not from a randomised trial involving direct comparison of therapeutic factors, therefore they do not suggest such comparison” (art. 6 of chapter A of Code of SFEE)

 

  1. Is the publishing of press releases for medicinal products allowed?

There is a general prohibition regarding the publishing of any kind of information concerning unauthorized medicines (prior to the grant of marketing authorization by the National Organization of Medicines), however a press release can be published under the strict condition that it is informative and does not include any promotional references to specific unauthorized medicine.

  1. Is the provision of gifts to the health care professionals allowed?

It is permitted to offer item medical/educational devices/applications of insignificant value, up to EUR 15 (per item) VAT included, closely associated with daily HCP practice.

All the above informational and educational material for medical use is considered promotional and must therefore be notified to EOF. Such material must not use the product brand name and/or include a direct or indirect advertising message, but only the company’s logo.

Any other donation, sponsorship or benefit in kind to HCPs is prohibited.

  1. Is the provision of hospitality to health care professionals allowed and if yes under which prerequisites?

Pharmaceutical companies are permitted to cover the participation costs of HCPs, including travel, registration, accommodation and meals, subject to approval from EOF and from their employers.

HCPs are entitled to participate only in conferences related to their specialty or similar specialties and of course the participation of any accompanying persons in any activity organized by a pharmaceutical company is banned.

The choice of venue must be very careful and it is not allowed to use venues that are renowned for their entertainment facilities or are extravagant (e.g. spas, resorts, casinos, etc.).

Scientific events cannot be held in touristic destinations during the respective high seasons, i.e. during the summer season (20/6 to 15/9) and during the winter season (15/12 to 15/1), and under no circumstances in skiing destinations for the period from 15/12 to 15/3.

The venue must be suitable for professional events and a conference hall for these events is complulsory. For conferences held in Greece, the accommodation of HCPs in, 5-star hotels is prohibited. It is permitted to hold a conference:

  1. in all 5-star hotels located in the capitals in the prefectures of Greece, which have a conference hall, provided they meet the cost requirement under the Code as to the daily cost of accommodation (including VAT and breakfast) and subject to the provisions of seasonality;
  2. in all 4-star hotels which fulfil the cost requirement under the Code and have a conference hall, subject to the provisions on seasonality.
  3. in exceptional cases, hotels located outside the capital of a prefecture, if they meet the needs of the conference and following the positive opinion of the Conferences Committee of SFEE.

 

Entertainment events (excursions etc.) in connection with a scientific event are not allowed.

EOF has put limits to the number of participation that a HCP  can have to conferences per year however these limits do not apply for HCPs with an active role in the conference ( speaker etc. )

For air travel, economy class tickets must be offered, and business class tickets may be offered only if flights exceed 4 hours.

The cost of meals per participant should not exceed EUR 70 (excluding VAT) per day abroad and EUR 70 (including VAT) per day in Greece. The same cost of meal applies also for foreign HCPs who participate in scientific events held in Greece. Accommodation costs must not exceed EUR 250 (excluding VAT) per day in 4-star hotels abroad and EUR 140 (including VAT) in Greece. In this price (EUR 140) breakfast is included. The above mentioned meals’ and accommodation limits apply also for foreign HCPs who participate in scientific events held in Greece. The hospitality cost (meals and accommodation) of scientific events held abroad, should follow the limits of the hosting country of the event, on the condition that the cost of meals does not exceed 70€ (excluding VAT) per day and the cost of accommodation does not exceed 250€ (excluding VAT) per day in 4*star hotels.

EOF categorizes the scientific events in four categories and imposes limits to the amounts that a pharmaceutical company may give for the sponshorship of the event according to its category. (art. 19 of Chapter A of Code of SFEE)

  1. It is allowed to have a business meal with an HCP ?

It is permitted to organise business meals outside the scope of scientific events in places appropriate for the purpose of the meeting. In any case, the daily cost per meal and per person cannot exceed EUR 70, including VAT. (art. 19 of Chapter A of Code of SFEE)

 

  1. Are there in Greece disclosure obligations for the payments to HCPs?

According  to the Code of SFEE each Member company shall document and disclose on their website and on the EOF website platform, within six months’ by the end of each calendar year at the latest, individually by name all Transfers of Value it makes, directly or indirectly, to or for the benefit of a Recipient.  Except as expressly provided, transfers of value shall be disclosed on an individual basis. Each Member Company shall disclose, on an individual basis for each clearly identifiable recipient (name, surname, Tax Registration No) the amounts of transfers of value  to such recipient in each Reporting Period which may be reasonably allocated to one  of the following categories: 1/. Transfers of value to HCOs related to:  Donations and grants, Sponsorship of events, Fees for service and consultancy, 2/ Transfers of value to HCPs related to: Events such as registration fee, travel and accommodation expenses (to the extent permitted by Article 19, Chapter A of Code of SFEE),  Fees for Service and Consultancy.

Disclosures shall be made on an annual basis and each reporting period shall cover a full calendar year. Disclosures shall be made by each Member Company within 6 months after the end of the relevant Reporting Period and the information disclosed shall remain available in the public domain for a minimum of 3 years, unless the Law or the Hellenic Data Protection Authority defines a shorter or longer period after the time such information is first disclosed.  Disclosures shall mandatorily be made in the Greek language.

Non-compliance with such provisions shall entail the imposition of sanctions. (Chapter B of Code of SFEE)

 

LEGAL SERVICES DIVORCE

LAW DIGEST Article on divorce 

INTRODUCTION

Greek Law recognizes various type of marriages (civil or religious ) as well as various ways for the dissolution of a marriage.

The present deals with the types of divorce and their conditions as well as with the relations between the spouses and the children after a divorce.

A/What types of marriage are there in Greece?

Marriage is conducted by means of a statement given by both persons simultaneously before the Mayor that they consent to the marriage (civil marriage) or by means of a religious ceremony (religious marriage). Both types of marriage generate the same legal effects.

Β/How can a marriage be dissolved in Greece?

B1/Divorce:

Regardless of the type of marriage, a divorce can be issued by means of an irrevocable court decision which cannot be contested by any legal means.  (Section 1438 CC)

B2/Types of divorce:

Β2.1/Mutual consent divorce:

Mutual consent divorce relies on a common agreement of the spouses that they consent to the dissolution of their marriage (Section 1441 CC). The spouses may dissolve their marriage by means of a written agreement, provided that the marriage had a minimum duration of six months before the execution of such agreement. Such agreement is signed by the contracting parties and their authorised attorneys or only by the latter, if duly authorised by special power of attorney executed during the month precedent to the date the agreement is executed.

If there are minor children, the marriage is validly dissolved if the agreement is accompanied by a written arrangement of the spouses regulating the children’s custody and parent-child communication details.

Mutual consent divorce is a much less costly and time consuming process than the contested divorce, and it is generally recommended.

B2.2/ Contested divorce:

A contested divorce procedure is initiated where the spouses failed to reach a common agreement on the dissolution of their marriage and one of them sues the other demanding the dissolution of the marriage.

Whether a divorce suit will be eventually accepted by the court depends on whether any of the following statutory grounds for divorce – restrictively set out in the law – is duly met:

  1. A) According to Section 1439 CC, either spouse may file a petition for divorce if there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, for reasons attributable to the Respondent or both spouses, so that the continuation of the marriage has become intolerable for the Petitioner.  It is therefore evident that such breakdown of the marriage may not be attributable exclusively to the Petitioner. If so, the petition is dismissed as inadmissible.  By way of indication, the Greek case law mentions the following events as solid causes of such irretrievable breakdown of a marriage: abandonment of the spousal residence, disregard of either spouse towards the other, emotional detachment of the spouses, insult to the personality of either spouse by the other, immorality or dishonesty of either spouse,
  2. B) Unless refuted by the Respondent, such irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is presumed in case of bigamy or adultery, abandonment of the Petitioner or attack against his/her life by the Respondent, as well as in case of domestic violence.
  3. C) If the spouses have been living separately for a period of two consecutive years, then the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is presumed and a petition for divorce may be filed even if the causes of such breakdown are attributable exclusively to the Petitioner. The two-year separation period is not suspended by any minor cessations that took place in an effort of the spouses to restore their relations. “Separation” means both the physical and emotional detachment of the spouses along with a wish to no longer live together. Separation also exists where the spousal relationship has been so severely undermined that it is no longer tolerable to the spouses. In case of physical separation of the spouses for a term of two years, the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, as a solid ground for a divorce, is irrefutably presumed. This practically means that the spouses may be separated even while they are still living together.

 

C/ What are the spousal relations after the divorce?

C1/ Alimony

The legal term “alimony” refers to the amount of money required by a person to meet their basic needs, e.g. food, accommodation, lighting, heating, clothing, entertainment and medical care as well as their upbringing and education. C1a) Who is entitled to receive alimony? Entitled to receive alimony is any person who is unable to live on his/her own resources or from an employment appropriate to his/her age, medical condition or other living standards also in view of also to any educational needs.

 

According to Section 1486 CC, a minor child is entitled to a alimony allowance from his/her parents, even if he/she owns assets, provided that the income generated from his/her assets or employment is insufficient to cover his/her living expenses. It has also been upheld by the courts that a minor child is under no obligation to make use of its own assets before claiming alimony from his/her parents, yet he/she must have used up any such resources before claiming alimony from his/her ascendants.

 

A person who is unable to provide alimony without jeopardising his/her ability to meet his own living expenses, taking into account any other obligations he/she may have, is under no obligation to provide it.

The parents are liable to provide for their children in proportion to their financial capacity.

C1b)How is alimony awarded by the Greek courts?

The amount of alimony is determined based on the needs of the beneficiary, as same arise from his/her living standards. “Living standards” are the specific living conditions, which vary based on the age, place of residence, need for supervision or education and medical condition of the beneficiary, in conjunction with the financial situation of the person liable to provide alimony. Any extravagant wishes or irrational demands of the beneficiary (e.g. extravagant hobbies) are not considered as eligible needs.

 

The obligation to provide alimony includes anything which is essentially required for the beneficiary’s alimony, including any money required to cover his/her upbringing and professional or general education.

The amount of alimony required is determined based primarily on the income of the parents deriving from any sources. Then, the needs of the minor child are determined, based on his/her living standards, namely on his/her living conditions, without regard to any irrational demands. The parent assigned with the custody of a minor child may include in his/her alimony claim any actual expenditures incurred to meet the child’s needs, including any personal care and support services offered, which can be valued in pecuniary terms, and any other contributions in kind arising from his/her cohabitation with the child, which can be valued and included in the obligor’s child support obligation.

From the provisions of Sections 1389, 1390, 1391 and 1493 CC it emerges that spouses have a mutual obligation to maintain each other, each based on his/her financial capacity, there being no requirement for one spouse to be wealthy and the other poor. The amount of alimony is determined based on the beneficiary’s needs, which are in turn determined based on his/her family and living conditions.

 

It is important to note that if any changes in alimony terms occur after the issue of a court order defining the amount of alimony payable, the court may adjust its alimony order or order the obligor to cease alimony payments.

 

D/ What are the parent-child relations after a separation or divorce?

D1/Parental responsibility:

Parental responsibility over a minor child is a duty and a right of both parents and exercised by them jointly.

Parental responsibility includes the personal care of the minor, the management of his/her assets and his/her representation in any affairs, transactions or proceedings concerning the minor or his/her assets.

In assigning parental responsibility to either parent the Greek courts take primarily into account the appropriateness of each parent to carry out the upbringing and care of the minor child as well as the child’s relationship with each of his/her parents and siblings. In doing so, the Court evaluates each parent’s personality and ability to raise a child, as well as their living conditions and financial standing.

In case spousal cohabitation has been discontinued, i.e. the regular living conditions of the family have changed radically as there is no longer a spousal residence and each spouse lives separately from the other, then a matter arises as to whether the minor children of the family should be living with their father or mother, in which case parental responsibility is determined by the courts.

 

As guidance for the granting of parental responsibility, in case of disagreement between the parents and the children and referral of the case to the courts, and also as a core criterion for such assignment, the Court assesses the real interest of the child, namely seeks to ensure his/her development as an independent, responsible person.

In case of disagreement between the parents, if it is to the interest of the child for a decision to be adopted, the matter is referred to court.

According to section 1513 CC, in case of a divorce or dissolution of the marriage, then, provided that both parents are alive, parental responsibility is regulated by the court. It may be assigned to either parent or, if the parents agree and they have jointly determined the child’s residence, to both parents jointly.

In making its decision the court takes into consideration the child’s relations with his/her parents and siblings up to that point as well as any arrangements made by the parents in respect of the child’s custody and the management of his/her assets.

The parent deprived of parental responsibility has the right to request the other to provide information about the child’s personality and assets.

D2/Custody:

Child custody consists primarily in the child’s maintenance, supervision and education as well as the decision as to his/her place of residence.

The court awards custody taking into account primarily the child’s best interest. In determining the child’s best interest,

the court takes into account and evaluates all terms and conditions that are beneficial to the child. The child’s opinion is not decisive or substantially important, as in several cases the child’s views are influenced or merely temporary and inconsistent with his/her best interest. The responsibility of a parent in the divorce or discontinuance of the spousal cohabitation is of no importance, save where the parent’s behaviour has an impact on the exercise of parental responsibility and the severity or the extent of such behaviour is harmful to the interests of the child and at the same time indicative of the parent’s character and personality in general, so that the parent is expected to demonstrate equivalent behaviour also towards the child.

 

The parent who is not sharing premises with the child has the right to have personal contact with him/her.

The parents have no right to deprive the child of any communication with his/her grandparents, save for a serious reason. The terms of parent-child communication are determined by the court with due regard to the child’s age, obligations (educational / extra-curricular activities) and the obligations of the parents. Normally, such terms include a weekly communication for a few hours and some weekends during the month. They also include certain days during the summer and during the Christmas and Easter vacations.

E/ What are the financial effects of the dissolution of marriage?

In case a marriage is dissolved or annulled, then, if either spouse’s fortune has increased after the marriage took place and the other spouse has contributed to such increase in any manner, the latter may claim to receive a value equivalent to his/her contribution to the increase. Such contribution presumably equals one third of the increase, unless proven to be smaller, greater or zero, as per Section 1400 CC.

 

The spousal contribution of the claimant may consist not only in the supply of funds in any form, but also in the provision of services which can be evaluated in pecuniary terms, including services provided in the spousal residence for the care and upbringing of the children, where and insofar such services do not fall within each spouse’s obligation to contribute to family expenses.

 

Such services may be valued based on the pecuniary value of the income which the beneficiary could have drawn from a certain professional activity, had he/she not engaged in the supply of such services, provided that the spouse could have engaged in such activity but opted to provide his/her services to the family instead.

 

In particular, such increase in the spouse’s fortune is determined based on the entirety of his/her assets, namely, his/her financial situation as at the time the marriage took place (original fortune) is compared against his/her financial situation as at the time the relevant claim arises (eventual fortune).

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