Does Ukraine recognize common law marriage? Cohabitation, common-law marriage, civil partnership and division of property in Ukraine


Cohabitation, common law marriage, civil partnership, and division of property in Ukraine. Conditions and evidence for the recognition of common-law marriage.

When dividing property in a common-law marriage, the court is guided by the provisions of the Family Code of Ukraine and, in some cases, the Civil and Land Code.

Does Ukraine recognize common law marriage?

According to the Family Code of Ukraine, the legal status of relations between spouses is equated to officially registered ones, and property is recognized as common (jointly acquired), however, the imperfection of the legal framework in certain issues leads to difficulties in real situations.

When is cohabitation and living together recognized as a common-law marriage in Ukraine?

A couple is in a common-law marriage if they are at the same time:

  1. have a joint residence, 
  1. are connected by a common way of life, 
  1. have mutual rights and obligations. 

So, the main features are: maintaining a common economy, having a common budget, and mutual rights and obligations. 

For example, it is not recognized as common-law marriage: joint vacation in foreign resorts, joint participation in holidays and parties, transfer of significant funds to the account of a woman (man), if there are no specified main signs of common-law marriage, and there are no well-established relationships that are inherent in spouses. 

The court may recognize the stay of a couple in a common-law marriage for a period of long residence separately in connection with: business trips of a man or a woman, or during the husband's military service. 

If a couple maintains a relationship after the dissolution of the marriage, this is also not recognized by the court as a fact of family relations. 

Only the testimony of witnesses and joint photographs cannot establish the fact of civil marriage, other evidence is needed. 

The fact that a man and a woman have a joint child also cannot testify to common-law marriage. 

To recognize the fact of common-law marriage, other evidence is also needed, namely, evidence of the acquisition of the disputed property for common funds or through joint labor. 

Our Law Firm "Viktor Reshetov & Partners" specializes in family matters, incl. in cases of the division of property acquired during a civil marriage. Our attorneys and lawyers will be able to professionally and with knowledge of the latest trends in judicial practice to advise you, to protect you from mistakes during such disputes, to advantageously represent your interests in court. Contact us!