In this article, you’ll find out how a citizen of Ukraine can dissolve a marriage with a citizen of another country.
How to divorce a foreigner in Ukraine without his/her presence?
Ukrainians, as citizens of a free country, have the right to marry – both their fellow citizens and citizens of another country. However, it should be remembered that the procedure for entering into and dissolving a marriage with a foreigner has its own specific features. The peculiarities of divorce from a foreigner in Ukraine will be discussed in this article.
Divorce procedure with a foreign citizen in Ukraine
The procedure for divorce between Ukrainian citizens and foreigners is governed by the Family Code of Ukraine and is virtually the same as between Ukrainians.
According to the current legislation, a marriage between Ukrainians and foreigners can be dissolved at the registry office and in court.
What do you need to divorce a foreigner at the registry office?
The easiest and fastest way to dissolve a marriage with a foreigner is to apply to the registry office. The foreign citizenship of one of the spouses does not matter when applying for a divorce – the standard procedure is to file an application, register the divorce and, after 30 days, obtain a certificate.
There are moments when you need to check a Ukrainian marriage or divorce certificate. In such situations, we’ll be there to help you.
The conditions for divorce from a foreigner in the registry office are the same as for divorce from compatriots: mutual consent and the absence of minor children together.
What documents are required for divorce from a foreigner in the registry office? In addition to the joint application of the spouses, it is necessary to provide passports (or other identity documents), a marriage certificate, and a receipt for payment of the state fee.
How to divorce a foreigner in court?
Divorce from a foreigner becomes more complicated if there are minor children together and there is no mutual agreement to terminate family relations.
The divorce proceedings will be conducted in court if the foreign spouse is in Ukraine, as the divorce petition is sent by the court at the defendant’s place of residence. In addition to the statement of claim, a standard package of documents is submitted to the court, including a passport (or passports), marriage certificate, property division agreement, agreement on children in case of divorce, and other documents.
Approximately one month after accepting the statement of claim for consideration, the court begins to hear the case. If one of the spouses disagrees with the divorce or if there is a possibility of preserving the family, the court may set a period of 1 to 6 months for reconciliation. If reconciliation fails, the court decides to dissolve the marriage.
Along with the divorce, the court may settle disputes between the spouses regarding the place of residence of the children and their upbringing, alimony obligations, and the division of the marital property.
How to divorce a foreigner in Ukraine without his/her presence?
The options described below are possible only if the foreign citizen resides in Ukraine. If he or she lives outside our country, the divorce process acquires additional features.
Thus, you can get a divorce without the presence of a foreigner both in the civil registry office and in court.
Divorce in the registry office without the presence of a foreign spouse
If there are legal grounds for divorce in the civil registry office, a foreign spouse residing outside Ukraine must submit a handwritten and notarized application for divorce to the civil registry office. In this case, a standard divorce procedure is carried out at the registry office.
Another option is to file an application for divorce at a consular or diplomatic mission of Ukraine in the territory of the foreign spouse’s residence.
Divorce from a foreigner who does not reside in Ukraine through the courts
If it is not possible to divorce through the Civil Registry Office, there is a procedure for divorcing a foreigner through the courts.
First, a divorce petition can only be filed at the defendant’s place of residence. If a foreign citizen does not reside in Ukraine, his or her last place of residence or the location of his or her property may be indicated as the place of residence. It is necessary to specify that the defendant’s new place of residence is unknown or impossible to travel there.
Second, the defendant must be notified of the filing of the divorce petition and the divorce proceedings. It takes a lot of time to send documents and postal notices. However, only if the defendant is familiarized with the plaintiff’s request for divorce (and this must be documented), the court can start the divorce proceedings without the presence of a foreign citizen in Ukraine. This is how the rights of the absent party to the proceedings are respected.
A notarized petition for a divorce from a foreigner to be considered without his or her participation can significantly simplify the procedure for divorcing a foreigner. Another option is to issue a power of attorney to represent a foreign spouse in court, which will allow you to divorce a foreigner without his or her participation without violating his or her legal rights and interests.
The moment of official divorce
If a marriage between a Ukrainian and a foreigner was concluded in Ukraine, the moment of its official dissolution will be the moment of making changes to the civil registry book. If the marriage was concluded in a foreign country and dissolved in Ukraine (in court), the moment of its official dissolution will be the moment of recognition of the court decision in the country that registered the marriage.
Recognition of divorce in Ukraine and another country
The Family Code of Ukraine regulates the procedure for recognizing marriages concluded between Ukrainian and foreign citizens in another country, as well as the procedure for recognizing divorces between them. Thus, a divorce from a foreigner in Ukraine is carried out in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. If the divorce took place outside Ukraine in accordance with the laws of a foreign country, the divorce is recognized in Ukraine.
The divorce is confirmed by the relevant authorities of this state upon submission of all necessary documents by the spouses. If the spouses are unable to visit this state to formalize the divorce, they should contact its consular or diplomatic mission in Ukraine.