Marriage and Prenuptial Contracts in Ukraine

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According to the family law, marriage and prenuptial contract is an agreement of persons who marry or an agreement of spouses, which defines their property rights and obligations in marriage or in case of its dissolution. An important argument in favor of a marriage contract is that it is a tool for stabilizing marriage, a guarantee of a civilized divorce and a financial fund for your common children.

If you want the document to be legally valid, it must be concluded in writing and must be certified by a notary. The original is kept by a lawyer, the couple receives copies. A significant difference between marriage contract in Ukraine and its Western counterparts is that family law in Ukraine regulates only property relations of spouses, while foreign marriage contracts can contain items relating to even intimate life and the fulfillment of household duties. It is also forbidden to conclude a marriage contract putting any of the spouses in a disadvantageous financial position. You also cannot cut the children rights which are established by the family code. So, in accordance with the current Ukrainian legislation, a marriage contract can contain such items:

  • Personal property, owned by each of the spouses;
  • Repair and maintenance of common property-apartments, houses, cottages, etc.;
  • Where the future spouses will live, and who owns the living space in case of divorce;
  • Who will pay alimony in case of divorce;
  • The procedure for using the property in case of separation and after divorce.

The main advantage of the marriage agreement in Ukraine is the possibility for the spouses to establish the mode of ownership for all or parts of the property: joint, shared or separate.

Joint property is a right of ownership in which all the property comes into the common property of the spouses without determining the shares of each, i.e. “common piggy bank”. It is this regime that will apply unless the marriage contract provides otherwise.

Shared property – the spouses’ shares are determined initially. The consent of the second spouse is necessary in case of alienation of the shared property. That is, if one of the spouses is a co-owner of the property of the other spouse.

In addition, spouses may establish a regime of separate ownership of all or certain types of property.

The convenience of a marriage contract is that the law allows its effect to be extended both to the property already acquired at the time of the contract (including those acquired before marriage) and to the property to be acquired in the future.

In Ukraine, a marriage contract is also a proven and common means of settlement of marital and post-marital property relations, and therefore it is widespread. Ukrainian marriage contract is especially suitable at the conclusion of interethnic marriages between Ukrainians and foreign citizens.

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