IURIS regularly assists numerous clients in separations before the courts. We believe that in this area, as in others, our clients’ best interests lie in a speedy and beneficial solution, which is why we aim for consensual separation. Because this is not always possible, we offer the full service, from the initial meditation procedure through to the litigation process until final judgement, providing comprehensive assistance throughout in all areas from care and custody of minor children, to maintenance, division of assets and the matrimonial home. We have also assisted in domestic violence cases and have acted as legal advisors to the main domestic violence agency in Malta.
The firm may also assist clients with enforcing judgments obtained before a foreign court or tribunal in Malta.
Care and custody disputes
IURIS provides advice on various custody-related matters, including paternity suits, disputes over matters concerning minor children and abduction cases. Our team believes that the best interests of the children are of paramount importance in such sensitive matters and we strive to help our clients reach amicable arrangements which safeguard the children’s best interest and wellbeing at all times, while striking a balance between the rights and duties of the parents depending on the particular circumstances of each case.
Through its senior partners Dr. Peter Fenech and Dr. Rita Mifsud, IURIS acted as legal advisors to the National Child Protection Agency (Foundation for Social Welfare Services, Aġenzija Appoġġ and Sapport) between 2008 and 2016, dealing with a myriad of issues concerning children including child abuse, neglect and providing a wide range of services such as voluntary admissions into care, fostering arrangements and adoptions. We have also provided extensive legal training to professionals in these fields.
The firm has also in recent years experienced an increase in cross-border custody disputes and has provided legal services to clients ordinarily resident both in Malta as well as in other EU countries and also in other foreign jurisdictions where issues of primary residence of the children as well as applicable jurisdiction in terms of EU regulations and international conventions are to be determined.
Our specialised lawyers at IURIS regularly represent clients in abduction cases, both in cases of requests for the return of a child to Malta from another jurisdiction and for the removal of a child from Malta to another jurisdiction. Our firm may act as the client’s legal representative in Malta in cases where the party requesting a child’s return is not present in Malta; IURIS may also act as liaison with the Central Authority in Malta which is the official body vested with responsibilities under the Hague Convention in abduction proceedings.
Following the introduction of Act XIV of 2011 regulating divorce in Malta, IURIS enables clients to obtaining a divorce through the Maltese courts and has regularly succeeded in finalising the necessary procedures in a relatively short period of time. The firm also offers this service to clients who are not ordinarily resident in Malta in those cases where the Maltese courts have jurisdiction to hear such a divorce. Our team at IURIS offers services to clients who have validly obtained a divorce in other countries, by assisting them with the process of having such divorce registered in Malta and recognised as valid under Maltese law.
Our specialised lawyers at IURIS assist numerous clients both before the Civil Courts, in obtaining an annulment of a civil marriage, and before the Ecclesiastical Tribunal, in proceedings for the annulment of a Catholic marriage.
IURIS provides representation and assistance in criminal proceedings concerning family matters, including cases of failure of one party to pay maintenance to the other, or to allow access to minor children, as well as in cases of domestic violence.
STANLEY JOE PORTELLI