Following two years of deliberations, a new law passed in Greece amending family law:
– “The best interests of the child, which are served in particular by the effective participation of both parents in his or her upbringing and care and by the prevention of a breakdown in his or her relationship with either of them…” (art. 5)
– Joint custody is the rule after separation / divorce (art. 7.2)
– The child’s place of residence cannot be changed without the consent of both parents if the change affects visitation (art. 12)
– The same situation is applied to children born out of wedlock and acknowledged by their father without litigation (art. 9)
– A presumption of 1/3 of the total time for parent-child contact is established (art. 13).
– Mediation is introduced.
Nevertheless, some negative points are :
– There will always be named a residential parent,
– Care will never be shared since one parent will be residential and the other in visitation.
– The residential parent will attempt all daily operations and take all daily decisions (art. 7.2.)
– Joint custody can be abolished by the court if the parents disagree (art. 8.2.)
– A father of a child born out of wedlock who, for example, has requested a test DNA will be excluded from parenting the child (art. 9)
– The term parental alienation has been deliberately omitted and the term relationship breakdown is used (art. 14.d.)
The law was passed by 156 votes out of 300 by the center – right government. Some articles got more votes because the communist party voted for them. The left and the center voted against the law.
The law is a product of compromise and has many exceptions and provisions that can be interpreted by case law in a deviating way.
Ultimately the question is whether the courts will apply the law or whether they will strike it down in their case law as they did during the last major reform of family law that took place in 1983.
As the national Ombudsman formulated, this law is not a change of paradigm.
Please find in attachment our translation. LAW 4800 2021