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Marriage contract: protection of rights and interests of spouses

Spouses, as well as persons who have applied for marriage registration, have the right to enter into a marriage agreement of their own free will to resolve family life issues. This agreement regulates the property relations between the spouses, defines their property rights and obligations, and may also define the property rights and obligations of the spouses as parents.

The marriage agreement may specify the property that the wife or husband transfers for use for the common needs of the family, as well as the legal regime of property donated to the spouses in connection with the registration of marriage.

The parties may agree not to apply the provisions of Article 60 of the Family Code of Ukraine (the "Code") to the property acquired during the marriage and consider it to be jointly owned or personal private property of each of them. They may agree on a possible procedure for dividing property, including in the event of divorce.

They may also provide in the prenuptial agreement for the use of property owned by both or one of them to meet the needs of their children and other persons.

The parties may include in the marriage agreement any other terms and conditions regarding the legal regime of property, if they do not contradict the moral principles of society.

If, in connection with the marriage, one of the spouses moves into a dwelling belonging to the other spouse, the parties may agree in the marriage agreement on the procedure for using it. They may agree to vacate the residential premises to the spouse who moved in in the event of divorce, with or without payment of monetary compensation.

Also, a man and a woman may agree to allow their relatives to live in a dwelling that belongs to one of them or is their joint property.

In addition, the transaction may regulate the issue of providing maintenance to one of the spouses, regardless of disability and the need for financial assistance, under the conditions specified in the marriage agreement. If the marriage agreement specifies the terms, amount and timing of alimony payments, then if one of the spouses fails to fulfill his or her obligation under the agreement, alimony may be collected on the basis of a notary's executive inscription. A marriage agreement may provide for the possibility of termination of the right to maintenance by one of the spouses in connection with the receipt of property (monetary) compensation.

We note that a marriage contract cannot regulate personal relations between spouses, as well as personal relations between them and children, cannot reduce the scope of the child's rights established by the Code, and cannot put one of the spouses in an extremely unfavorable financial situation. A marriage agreement may not transfer real estate and other property subject to state registration to one of the spouses.

Pursuant to the Procedure for Notarial Acts by Notaries of Ukraine, approved by Order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine No. 296/5 dated February 22, 2012, a marriage agreement shall be concluded in writing in three original copies and notarized. If the parties do not comply with the law on notarization of the agreement, such a transaction is void.

If a minor is a party to a marriage contract, a written consent of his or her parents or guardian, certified by a notary, is required to enter into a marriage contract prior to marriage registration.

A prenuptial agreement concluded before marriage registration comes into force on the day of marriage registration, and one concluded by the spouses - on the day of its notarization, which must be stated in the text of the agreement.

A prenuptial agreement may specify the general term of its validity, the duration of certain rights and obligations, and may also establish the validity of the agreement or its individual terms even after the marriage is terminated.

A marriage agreement may contain provisions on the procedure for changing its terms. Unilateral changes to the terms of a marriage contract and unilateral withdrawal from a marriage contract are not allowed. Amendments to the marriage contract may be made by the spouses by concluding a relevant agreement, which is subject to mandatory notarization.

At the request of one of the spouses, a marriage contract may be amended by a court decision if it is required by his or her interests, the interests of children, as well as disabled adult daughters and sons of significant importance.

At the request of one of the spouses, the agreement may be terminated by a court decision on grounds of material importance, in particular, if it is impossible to fulfill it.

Also, a marriage agreement may be declared invalid by a court decision at the request of one of the spouses or another person whose rights and interests are violated by this agreement on the grounds established by the Civil Code of Ukraine.

Information as of 10.05.2024

Ministry of Justice

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