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Contestation and Establishment of Paternity According to Greek Legislation


Mrs Kasatkina-Kouskou Svetlana’s Law Office provides professional legal support in establishment of paternity as well as in contestation of paternity and in other family law matters such as divorce, child custody, alimony etc.

Various cases are described by the Family Law, and contestation or establishment of paternity are quite common.

Contestation of paternity

Quite often married women face difficult and complicated situations, the output of which can be accomplished by the legal aid of an experienced lawyer. Such a complex situation occurs when a woman, while being officially married to one person, regardless of them cohabiting or living apart, or even being in a state of divorce, gets pregnant with a baby, a biological father of which is another person, different from her husband. In this case, when a baby is born, officially it is considered to be the child of the legal husband and it takes his surname, which fact often does not correspond to the desires and the interests of the child and its biological parents as well.

In Greece the divorce process lasts frequently for several years and there is a great possibility of new relationships to happen during this period, as well as delivering a baby. In such cases it is important to be prepared to act immediately.

According to law a child born during marriage or in 300 days since the divorce or since the annulment of marriage is considered as a child of the ex-husband. If in 300 days since the dissolution or since the annulment of marriage a child is born by a woman who’s got married again, the second husband is regarded as a child’s father, unless proven otherwise in the court of the law.

According to law, in case of a husband (ex-husband)  considered as a father of a child, but who is not actually the biological father, appeal may be brought before the court under certain conditions and in certain time limit.

In addition to this it should be proved that the birth of a child would not be possible because of the separation of the spouses or for any other reason.

According to law the appeal for contesting paternity of a child, can be brought by:

1) the husband (ex-husband) of the child’s mother

2) the parents of the child’s father, in case he dies

3) the child

4) the child’s mother

5) the child’s biological father.

Contesting paternity can be done personally by the interested person themselves or by their legal representative.

Establishment of paternity

The child’s paternity is determined either on parent’s declaration or by court judgment.

Child’s paternity is regulated by the Civil Code of Greece. Usually this procedure is done by the establishment of paternity voluntarily of the person, who considers himself a father of a child. This process takes place if parents were not legally married by the time of child’s birth. But in case when a father denies that he is the child’s father, the child’s mother has the right to bring an action before the court of law with the aim to prove the paternity.

According to the article 1473 of the Greek Civil Code, a child born without their parents being married has the same rights against them and their relatives as long as right after a child was born their parents get married and then establish the paternity at their own will or by a court judgment.

In case of father’s death or if he hasn’t the capacity to perform legal actions, the establishment of paternity can be done by his parents – child’s grandparents (article 1475 of the Greek Civil Code).

Also, in cases where the child’s biological father doesn’t want to establish paternity voluntarily, under Articles 1480 – 1483 of the Greek Civil Code the child’s mother has the right to bring an action in the court of the law in time limit of five years since her child was born, demanding the establishment of the child’s paternity.

The same right has a child within a period of one year from the date of its adulthood.

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