1. I submit this affirmation as my expert’s opinion on the marriage of Ivan [his last name keeps in the secret] and his wife Olena [her last name keeps in the secret], Marriage certificate issued on July 20, 2000 in city of Kyiv, Ukraine, under record number 118.
2. I have been asked to provide an opinion on Ukrainian law about legal validity of marriage between Ivan and Olena.
3. It is my understanding that Ivan and Olena while resided in United States of America since June 5, 1999, they got married in Ukraine on July 20, 2000 without their physical presence.
4. On the day of July 20, 2000 the Code of Marriage and Family of Ukraine № 2006-VII came into force and effect on June 20, 1969 (hereinafter referred to as The Code of 1969) and was valid by December 31, 2003. On January 1, 2004 current Family Code of Ukraine № 2947-III (hereinafter referred to as The Code of 2004) came into force and effect.
5. The Code of 1969 doesn't regulate the matter of acknowledging marriage unregistered. However, the Code of 1969 does regulate the matter of marriage which is invalid. According to the Article 45 of the Code of 1969, the marriage can be acknowledged as invalid only in court in case of violation of the conditions established by Articles 15-17 of the Code of 1969, as well as in the case of registration of marriage without the intention to start a family (fictitious marriage). Articles 15-17 of the Code of 1969 state that conditions of marriage is mutual consent of persons who marry, and to be reached marriageable age. The marriage age is set at 18 for men and 17 years for women. Marriage is not allowed: between persons, at least one of whom is already in another marriage; between relatives in a straight line ascending and descending, between full and half brothers and sisters, as well as between adoptive parents and adopted children; between persons, at least one of whom has been declared incompetent by a court due to mental illness or dementia.
6. Thereby, the Code of 1969 was current at the day of marriage registration on July 20, 2000 doesn't regulate the matter of acknowledgment of marriage as unregistered. It means if any couple officially received and uses valid real certificate of marriage with real record number, they are considered as married. Their marriage is officially registered and valid. This marriage cannot considered as unregistered, and, if any spouse would to address to the court with this matter, this legal action will be denied because Ukrainian authorities recognizes this marriage according to the Code of 1969.
7. The Supreme Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases came to the same conclusion in its Decision regarding the civil case № 380/1576/15-ц on September 20, 2017. In paragraph twenty five of the Decision the Supreme Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases states:
“.... the legal relations that arose between the parties regarding the registration of their marriage on November 20, 1999 are regulated by the Code Marriage and Family of Ukraine № 2006-VII, the norms of which do not provide for marriage to be unconcluded or invalid on the grounds of absence of the groom and (or) bride during marriage registration”.
8. The Article 48 of the Code of 2004 clearly regulates the matter of acknowledging marriage unregistered. However, this law did not exist at the day of marriage registration on July 20, 2000. This marriage is officially valid since was registered under the Code of 1969 which did not provide any legal grounds for invalidation of this marriage in such circumstances.
9. According to the Ukrainian law, the marriage between Ivan and Olena is valid and real. The spouses officially received the marriage certificate as a proof of their marriage. The marriage record № 118 dated on July 20, 2000 is kept in the Archive of Vital record office. Recognition by the competent Ukrainian court this marriage as unregistered has no judicial prospects due to no basis of Ukrainian law.
10. I hereby certify that the foregoing statements made by me in the annexed Certification are true. I am aware that if the foregoing statements made by me are willfully false, I am subject to punishment.