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Marriage in Ukraine: how to proceed quickly and mitigate your financial risks?
Author: Yuri Neklyaev
Source: Lexology, 9 March 2021

Each year more and more international families appear. Ukraine is not exception to this rule.

There is a myth that marriage with a foreign citizen is quite problematic because you need to collect lots of documents. In fact, this is not the case. In family relations foreigners, who legally stay in Ukraine, have the same rights and responsibilities as Ukrainian citizens.

Of course, each country has its own legislative features. Adherence to all legal procedures will allow you to get married in Ukraine quickly and without significant financial costs.

The main terms of marriage registration in Ukraine are as follows:

  • reaching the age of marriage (adulthood, 18 y.o.);
  • absence of current registered marriages with other persons;
  • no obstacles to marriage (for example, it is impossible to get married between relatives).

Documents, necessary for marriage registration in Ukraine:

  • internal passport of a bride/groom who is a citizen of Ukraine;
  • passport of a foreign bride/groom (it must be the passport which was used for the purpose of crossing the border of Ukraine);
  • notarized translation of the passport of a foreign bride/groom.

If the passport of a foreigner does not contain information about his marital status, a document confirming the fact he/she is not married shall be prepared beforehand. Such document shall be issued by the competent authority of the country of his/her citizenship and duly legalized.

If bride/groom or both were previously married, then a document confirming marriage termination must be provided. Such documents include: a certificate or court decision on divorce, death certificate of the other spouse, etc. If these documents were issued in another country, they must be translated into Ukrainian and apostilled (legalized). If it is a court decision, it must come into legal force.

Marriage registration procedure in Ukraine:

  • submission of a written application by a bride and groom to any State Register Service, provision of all necessary documents (mentioned above);
  • choosing the wedding date;
  • checking the legality of a foreigner's stay in Ukraine (a request to the State Migration Service is made);
  • marriage registration on the selected date.

As a rule, marriage is registered after one month from the date of application. In this case, the state fee should not exceed 10 euros.

In 2016 Ukraine has adopted a special program "marriage within one day", which may be used for speeding up the marriage registration. If the bride/groom is a foreigner (and request to the State Migration Service is necessary), the procedure may be performed approximately in one week. The state fee for such expedited service will be approximately 100-200 euros depending on the type of ceremony.

The Family Law practice at Asters law firm provides full legal support within marriage procedures and helps to make its registration in a most prompt manner.

Consequences of marriage registration in Ukraine

From the moment of marriage registration, the spouses obtain mutual rights and responsibilities, including ownership. As a general rule in Ukraine, when one of the spouses acquires property, it is considered to be joint property. This means that the shares of each spouse in such property are equal (50/50). In the case of further division of such property, there is a high probability that the other spouse will receive half of it, even if he/she had invested nothing in its acquisition.

There are various ways and legal tools that can significantly reduce such risk. One of the best ways is to enter into a marriage contract. This document allows to establish the indivisibility of property acquired during the marriage in case of divorce. That is, contrary to the general rule (where the shares in property are considered to be equal notwithstanding of which spouse has acquired the property), the marriage contract may establish that the property belongs to the spouse who acquired it (in whose name it is registered).

Another preference of the marriage contract is that it may be concluded by both: the brides (before marriage registration) and the spouses (who are already married). 

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