MARRIAGE LAWS OF UKRAINE
The law relating to marriage in Ukraine is governed by the FAMILY CODE OF UKRAINE (Vidomosti Verkhovnoi Rady (VVR), 2002, # 21-22, p. 135) (As amended by the Law # 407-IV (407-15) of 26 December 2002, VVR, 2003, # 7, p.70). As per the law of Ukraine a marriage is a family union between a woman and a man, duly registered in a public civil status act registration authority.
Marriageable age for women is 17 years and for men-18 years. Persons wishing to register their marriage shall be of marriageable age as of the date of marriage registration.
RIGHT TO MARRY
Persons that have attained marriageable age have the right to marry. Upon application of a person that has attained 14 years, a court may grant him/her the right to marry if it is found than such a marriage satisfies his/her interests.
A marriage shall be based on a free consent of a women and men. Forcing a women and men into a marriage is not permitted. Registering a marriage with a person found legally incapable, as well as with a person that has not realized the significance of his/her actions and (or) was unable to keep them under his/her control.
A woman and a man may enter only one marriage at the same time. A woman and a man have the right to remarry only after the previous marriage has been dissolved.
The following persons may not each other and their marriage stands invalid if the:
- persons are relatives related to one another by blood.
- persons are full blood and half blood brother and sister. Full blood brothers and sisters are those who have common parents. Half-blood brothers and sisters are those who have either common mother or common father
- cousins, aunts, uncles and nephews, nieces who are related by blood.
- The natural child of the adopter and the child he/she adopted, as well as between children that he/she adopted. However the court may intervene in such cases
the adopter and the child he/she adopted. A marriage between the adopter and the child he/she adopted may be registered only if the adoption has been terminated.
REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES
State registration of marriages is established with a view to ensuring stable relations between woman and man, protection of rights and interests of married couples, their children, as well as in the interests of the State and society. State registration of marriages is conducted solemnly. State registration of marriages is certified by the Marriage Certificate whose specimen is approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
- passport (translated into the Ukrainian language);
- a legalized Certificate of Birth (translated into the Ukrainian language);
- a legalized document on individual current marital status (such documents can be obtained from a district court);
- a legalized original divorce decree if any (this document must be presented only by individuals who have been previously married. It may be represented by a Divorce Decree, Certificate of Death of one of the spouses, or a copy of the Court Judgment annulling the marriage).
The validity of the documents mentioned (except passport) is six months; effective date is the date of issuance by the appropriate authority.
Application for Marriage Registration
The local Department of Vital Statistics and Civil Status (known by the acronym "RAGS") can process an application for marriage to a Ukrainian national.
A woman and a man file the application for marriage registration with any public civil status act registration authority of their choice. A woman and a man file the application for marriage registration in person.
Whenever a woman and (or) a man are unable, for valid reasons, to personally file the application for marriage registration with a public civil status act registration authority, such an application, certified by a notary, may be submitted by their legal representatives.
Powers of such legal representatives should be certified by a notary. If a marriage is not registered the fixed day, the application for marriage registration remains valid within three months from the date of its filing.
Informing Persons that have Filed an Application for Marriage Registration on their Rights and Responsibilities
A public civil status act registration authority shall have the duty to inform persons that have filed an application for marriage registration on their rights and responsibilities as would-be spouses and parents, as well as on responsibility for concealing obstacles to marriage registration.
Persons that have filed an application for marriage registration are deemed to be engaged. Engagement does not create the obligation to marry. The person that has given up the marriage shall have the duty to reimburse to the other party expenses the latter has incurred in connection with preparation for the marriage registration and the wedding.
Such expenses are not subject to reimbursement if giving up the marriage is explained by unlawful, immoral conduct on the part of the bride, fiancé, by his, her hiding circumstances of essential importance for giver-up (serious illness, existence of a child, criminal record, etc.).
Whenever a person that has been offered a gift on the occasion of the future marriage gives up the marriage, the deed of gift, upon the donor's request, may be terminated judicially. If the deed is terminated, the person should return back the gift she/he has been offered and in case that gift was not preserved- pay back its cost.
Registration of the State of Health
Persons who have filed an application for marriage registration should inform each other of the state of their health. The State ensures the creation of conditions for medical examination of persons that have filed an application for marriage registration.
The manner in which medical examination of persons that have filed an application for marriage registration is conducted shall be established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
Medical examination results are confidential and may be made known only to the persons that have filed an application for marriage registration.
Concealing serious disease, as well as illness, which is dangerous for the other of spouses, their descendants may constitute a ground for finding the marriage invalid.
Time of Marriage Registration (waiting period)
A marriage is registered after the expiration of a period of one month after the date on which the persons have filed their application for marriage registration.
Should there be serious reasons, the manager of the public civil status act registration authority permits to register the marriage prior to the expiration of this time-limit.
If the bride appears to be pregnant, has given birth to a child and if there is a real threat to the life of the bride or fiancé, the marriage is registered the day on which the application concerned has been filed.
Should obstacles to marriage registration be available, the manager of the public civil status act registration authority may delay marriage registration for three months maximum. Decision on such a delay may be appealed against to a court.
Venue of Marriage Registration
A marriage is registered in the premises of the public civil status act registration authority. Upon request of the bride and fiancé, their marriage may be solemnly registered in another place.
Upon request of the bride and fiancé, their marriage may be registered in the place where they live, where an in-hospital medical treatment is provided or in any other place if, for valid reasons, they are unable to appear in the public civil status act registration authority.
LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE MARRIAGE
A marriage is a ground for the arising of spouses' rights and responsibilities. A marriage may not be a ground for giving privileges or advantages to a person, as well as imposing restrictions of his/her rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution (254k/96-BP) and laws of Ukraine.
INVALIDITY OF MARRIAGE
Article 38. Grounds for Marriage Invalidity
Violation of provisions of Articles 22, 24, 26 of the present Code shall be the ground for marriage invalidity.
Article 39. Invalid Marriage
- A marriage registered with already married person whose first marriage has been registered is deemed to be invalid.
- A marriage registered between persons that are relatives related to one another by blood, as well as between full blood brother and sister is deemed to be invalid.
- A registered marriage to a person found incapable is deemed to be invalid.
- The public civil status act registration authority, upon application of the person concerned, cancels the record of marriage registered with persons referred to in paragraphs 1, 3 of the present Article.
- Whenever a marriage has been registered with already married person, in case of terminating the previous marriage prior to canceling the record of the second marriage, this second marriage becomes valid upon termination of the previous marriage.
The record of marriage shall be cancelled irrespectively of the death of the persons with whom the marriage was registered (paragraphs 1, 3 of the present Article), as well as dissolution of this marriage.
Article 40. Marriage, which is Found Invalid Judicially
- A marriage is found invalid judicially if it has been registered without free consent of the woman and man.
In particular, the consent is not considered to be a free one if, upon marriage registration, the person concerned was suffering a mental handicap, was drunk, drugged, intoxicated as a result of which he/she did not fully realize the significance of his/her actions and (or) was unable to control them, or if the marriage has been registered as result of physical or mental violence.
- A marriage is found invalid judicially in case of fictitious marriage.
A marriage is deemed to be sham if it has been entered into by the woman and man or by one of them without intention to found a family and acquire spouses' rights and responsibilities.
- A marriage may not be found invalid if, upon judicial trial of the case, circumstances, which proved the absence of the person's consent to marry or his/her unwillingness to found a family disappeared.