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About annulment of marriage

Pursuant to Article 39 of the Family Code of Ukraine, marriage registered with a person who is still in a pre-existing registered marriage is invalid.

Article 39 of the Family Code of Ukraine permits convalidation of marriage registered in violation of the principle of monogamy where the first marriage is dissolved, in which case the new marriage becomes legally valid from the date of dissolution of the first marriage.

Pursuant to clause 5, section 3 of the Regulations for Registration of Acts of Civil Status approved by the Order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on October 18, 2000, No. 52/5 as amended as of December 26, 2008 and registered by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on October 18, 2000 with No. 719/4940, the persons who were previously married may only get a new marriage registered upon production of the documents to confirm termination of the previous marriage (a certificate of dissolution of marriage, a certificate of death of the other spouse, a judgment on invalidation of marriage).

In case of foreign citizens, such a document may be a court judgment on dissolution of marriage if it is conclusive under laws of such foreign country, a certificate of dissolution of marriage or other documents provided for by laws of such foreign country issued by a competent authority, unless otherwise provided for by international treaties. If the person's passport contains no data about his/her marital status, then a document should be produced to confirm that such person is not married. Such a document should be issued by the country of his/her citizenship and duly consularized or legalized by a diplomatic mission of Ukraine in such country and apostiled, unless otherwise provided for by effective international treaties to which Ukraine is a party.

For the purpose of entering into a marriage to be registered in Ukraine, foreigners must produce their national passport or a passport document with a registration note issued by an authorized authority to confirm the legality of their stay in Ukraine. Where passports or other documents of foreign citizens are made in a foreign language, they must be accompanied by a translation into Ukrainian certified by the Consulate of Ukraine abroad, the Embassy (Consulate) of the country of citizenship or the notary public.

Marriage with a person previously married is deemed to be invalid (Article 44 of the Family Code of Ukraine) from the date of its state registration, provided the documents are available that confirm an apparent violation of law; however, the absolute invalidation of marriage requires that a relevant marriage entry is canceled.

It may be stated in this case that the procedure for registration of marriage has been substantially violated.

1. Pursuant to Article 32 of the Family Code, marriage is registered upon expiration of one month after the application has been filed. Where there is good cause, the registration of marriage prior to the expiration of said period may be authorized by the head of the civil registry office. Good cause may include, for instance, an urgent departure or a need for medical treatment.

It is only in case of pregnancy of a fiancée, her having delivered a baby or a danger to life of a fiancé or a fiancée that a marriage is registered on the date of filing the application.

This means that where a marriage is registered ON THE DATE OF FILING THE APPLICATION, the registration file must contain documents, particularly, medical certificates to confirm that the fiancée is pregnant, has delivered a baby or there are life-endangering circumstances. There must also be a resolution of the head of the civil registry office.

2. The requirement of obtaining the fiancé's passport accompanied by a translation into Ukrainian was violated.

3. The principle of monogamy, i.e. the requirement of obtaining certificates to confirm that the parties are not previously married was violated.

All these circumstances together make it possible to cancel the marriage entry.

A marriage is not invalidated by default, but it can be held invalid by canceling the marriage entry by the civil registry office against an application from an interested party.

Karina Duvall
Articles and consultations authored by attorney reflect the state of law as of the date of their writing. The laws change daily. Users of this site are advised to consult attorney regarding their situation.
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