Family affairs

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state. The Constitution of Ukraine stipulates that family, childhood, maternity, and paternity are protected by the state.

The main statutory instrument that regulates the order of the conclusion and dissolution of marriage, private property and non-property rights of the spouses, rights and responsibilities of the children, including the adopted ones, is the Family Code of Ukraine. Article 3 thereof stipulates that the primary and fundamental group unit of society is family created on the grounds of marriage, blood relations, adoption, and other grounds not prohibited by the law and not contradicting moral principles of the society. 

The creation or dissolution of the family always involves tons of emotions that don’t always positively impact decision-making on the proprietary side of the family life. That is why we advise you to remain prudent at all times and, when taking any actions, turn to qualified lawyers, who will provide timely assistance and consult on the order of the actions in any given situation.

Family cases 

Family cases are the cases that deal with:

  • concluding marriage, that includes annulment of the marriage given the violation of the conditions of its conclusion and given the conclusion of marriage without the intent to create a family;
  • dissolution of marriage, recovery of the alimony;
  • division of property of the spouses;
  • establishing or contesting paternity;
  • adoption, establishment of guardianship or custody;
  • deprivation of paternal rights;
  • maintenance of parents;
  • establishment of errors in the records of civil status;
  • establishing legally significant facts: family relations of the citizens, the citizens’ dependence, registration of the adoption, marriage, divorce, birth, and death.

Extrajudicial resolution of the family cases  

Every case dealing with a conflict in a family is special because the primary task of both the state and its every citizen is to safeguard the family and protect its values.

To that end, the legislator has created an entire institution of extrajudicial family cases resolution that acquired the name ‘mediation’. That is basically the process of holding negotiations aiming to resolve a dispute. Such negotiations are possible given the participation of a certified mediator or a qualified family law attorney who will help conclude the agreement on the amicable settlement before the beginning of the litigation or, with the Client’s consent, can initiate the dispute settlement with the participation of a judge in court proceedings. The abovementioned amicable settlement agreement can be concluded on the division of the property of the spouses, custody of a child, child support of the parent living separately, and its participation in upbringing. 

Should holding the negotiations be impossible and should the parties insist on court trial, Article 10 of the Family Code of Ukraine provides the family members with such right, noting that each participant of the family relations has the right for the protection by the court. The Code categorizes spouses, parents, children, foster parents, adopted children, grandmothers, grandfathers, great-grandmothers, great-grandfathers, grandchildren, siblings, stepmothers, stepfathers, stepdaughters, stepsons, and parents living together in actual spousal relations as the participants of the family emotions as the participants of the family relations.

The fundamental condition to go to court is for the abovementioned persons to have the civil procedure capacity to sue (from 14 years old) and be sued. The representatives act in the interests of the incompetent persons or persons with limited capability. Also, in the instances stipulated in the Family Code of Ukraine, the prosecutor and the custody and guardianship authorities can go to court. 

Trial of the cases on family disputes

The trial of the cases dealing with the protection of family rights is held within the action or special proceedings subject to the norms of the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine. The necessary condition to open the proceedings in the case is to meet the requirements on the order of the execution of the bill of complaint or the claim of the interested party with the mandatory attachment of all the necessary proofs and the payment of the court fee, or substantiation of the reason for the exemption of the court fees.

Family cases on adoption, the establishment of the legally significant facts listed in Article 315 of the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, can be tried within special (non-action) proceedings given the conditions stipulated by the law.   

The Resolutions of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Ukraine contain the clarifications of particular issues that arise while trying family cases and peculiarities of court trials of particular categories of the cases. However, legal conclusions of the Supreme Court in family disputes change with every new composition of the court, which, coupled with a large number of laws and other statutory documents that regulate legal family relations, creates obstacles for the person to implement the right to protection.

Our firm and family law attorneys, equipped with practical experience and a large number of positive decisions in the process of consultations and legal support in each kind of family cases, are ready to answer your questions or come to provide legal aid at any time.