Marriage contract in Ukraine

How to conclude a marriage contract in Ukraine?

The conclusion of a marriage contract involves the signing of a contract between a man and a woman to resolve issues of their future marital status.

The marriage contract is notarized by a public or a private notary.

When can you sign a marriage prenup?

The marriage prenup can be concluded by brides who have applied for marriage registration or by a married couple. In the first case, such a contact enters into force on the date of marriage registration. In the second, the terms of the marriage contract take effect from the moment of its notarization.

According to Ukrainian law, what can be included in the marriage agreement?

Marriage agreements can include resolving issues of both movable and immovable property. Another very important issue is the possibility of including in the marriage prenup the role of parents in the lives of their future children and their place of residence with one of the parents.

In general, the wife and the husband have the right to include into the prenup any conditions that do not contradict the current legislation, for example:

  • establishing the order of separation of property in case of divorce;
  • establishing the procedure of using property and housing;
  • the right to the maintenance of one spouse, the term and the amount of the alimony payment;
  • other conditions governing property relations between spouses (the procedure of using cash, the procedure of fulfilling credit or other property obligations, the obligation of one spouse to pay for the treatment or education of another or a child, etc.).

As a rule, the contract does not specify specific amounts, and everything is calculated as a percentage.

Matrimonial treaties do not prescribe the regulation of non-marital issues: loyalty to one another, responsibility for betrayal, respect for one another and the family of one spouse, etc.

I will note that the regulation of such issues in the marriage prenup does not meet the norms of law in Ukraine and the requirements for the conclusion of the marriage prenup. And, in case of submission to the court of a marriage contract concluded without compliance with the requirements of the legislation of Ukraine, one should not expect a positive result.

If one spouse is a foreigner, what are the requirements for concluding the marriage contract?

The norms of different countries impose different requirements for the marriage contract.

Currently, it does not exist the only international marriage agreement requirements. A marriage contract in one country does not automatically imply that it will work in all others. Although, it is very ambiguous, and at some point or another its position can still be applied in a country other than its conclusion.

If the marriage agreement is concluded in Ukraine and the spouse's real estate is in another country?

In this case, the rule in most countries is that resolving real estate issues is the exclusive competence of the courts where such real estate is located. This rule also applies to Ukraine. Also, the courts will apply their laws to resolve real estate issues.

In other words, real estate acquired in Ukraine must be divided under the terms of the marriage prenup concluded in Ukraine. Real estate acquired in another country will soon not be able to be divided under the terms of the Ukrainian marriage prenup, as it may violate public order in another country.

This feature must be taken into account during concluding a marriage contract.

What does public order mean when settling the marriage contract in another country?

Public order means the public law of a country that cannot be violated by any international contract or an agreement concluded in another country. The simplest examples of different public norms in different countries are the presence of polygamy. In Ukraine, public law does not allow polygamy, and the presence of a second wife, but in some eastern countries, this situation is acceptable. Therefore, if the marriage contract states that the second wife receives 50% of the property after the divorce, then the rights of the second wife will be doubted or disregarded at all.

How long is a marriage contract valid?

As a rule, the marriage prenup is concluded indefinitely: as long as the couple is married. But it is possible to provide for another term in the prenup. Also, the marriage agreement may specify the general term of its validity and, at the request of the parties, may provide for the duration of individual rights and obligations. Besides, the parties may indicate the validity of certain terms of the agreement even after the marriage.

Is it possible to change the terms of the marriage contract?

Of course, you can, but a unilateral change in the terms of the marriage agreement is not allowed. If both spouses wish to change the terms of the marriage contract, they may conclude changes to this contract with a required notarization certificate. Also, at the request of one of the spouses, the marriage agreement may be modified by court order if its interests, the interests of the children, as well as the incapacitated adult daughter or son, which are essential, so require.

Under what conditions can a marriage agreement be terminated or declared invalid?

The procedure is the same as for modifying the contract.

The termination of the marriage prenup is based on:

  1. Waiver of the spouse from the agreement by applying with a notary;
  2. Termination of a marriage prenup at the request of one of the spouses by a court decision.

A unilateral rejection of a marriage contract is also not allowed.

A marriage contract may also be declared wholly or partially invalid. If the marriage agreement is declared invalid in part, it will remain valid in the remaining parts.

Advice from lawyers on marriage contracts between couples from different countries!

Lawyers advise concluding an agreement with the participation of lawyers from both or more countries. Ideally, lawyers from countries should be involved in this process: where the marriage contract is concluded, where the couple plans to reside, including with children who are planning to buy property, especially real estate or run a business. Only with the joint action of lawyers from different countries, ie harmonization of the nuances of the laws of different countries, is it possible to obtain a truly effective and maximally protected marriage agreement.

What you should look for and know if you are planning to conclude a marriage contract (including if one of the spouses is a foreigner):

  1. Think in advance what terms you would like to spell out in the marriage prenup.

The process of developing a marriage agreement by lawyers begins with the question of what you want to predict in the marriage contract.

  1. The marriage agreement can be concluded both before the marriage registration and at any time after the marriage. In Ukraine, a marriage contract can be concluded after applying for marriage registration.

The couple will receive the status of a married couple after the application has been registered by the Civil Registration Authorities. Before such registration, the agreement concluded would be considered a completely different contract, but not in any way marital.

  1. If you are getting married in Ukraine but are planning to divide the real estate in another country, then you should involve a lawyer from that country in the development of the marriage contract.

With the joint efforts of Ukrainian lawyers and lawyers from another country, the marriage agreement will be the most effective.

  1. A marriage contract is valid only if it is notarized.

Signed by the parties without a notary, the marriage contract, and then saved as a photo or scanned copy, is not valid.

So, dear couples, seek the help of lawyers and avoid any misunderstandings in the future!


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