The Family Code of Ukraine, as amended in the territory of the Republic, establishes that marriage is a family union of a woman and a man, registered in State civil registration authority.
Cohabiting couples do not always register their relationship in accordance with the law. The specified relationship that has arisen between a man and a woman is defined as “de facto marital relations”.
Article 3 of the Code stipulates that a family consists of persons who live together, are connected by a common way of life, have mutual rights and obligations. In accordance with the norms of the FC of Ukraine, a man and a woman cohabited outside a registered marriage is not, as a general rule, the basis for the emergence of their rights and obligations as spouses. The establishment of cohabitation is important for the protection of the material interests of persons who live together. Thus, according to Article 74 of the Family Code, property acquired by such persons during their cohabitation belongs to them on the basis of the right of common joint ownership.
The procedure for considering civil cases on establishing the facts of cohabitation is regulated by section IV chapters 1, 6 of the CPC of Ukraine, which provide for the consideration of this category of cases in special proceedings. In this case, a prerequisite for special proceedings is the absence of a dispute about right.
The fact that a man and a woman cohabited outside a registered marriage cannot be established if both parties or one of the parties are in another registered marriage. In an application on establishing a legally valid fact as established by Article 258 of the CPC of Ukraine, it must be indicated for what purpose the applicant needs to establish this fact. This is necessary to correctly determine the circle of interested persons, as well as to determine the type of legal proceedings (claim or special), in the manner of which the submitted application is subject to be settled.
To enact the fact that a man and a woman cohabited outside a registered marriage may be necessary to implement the following rights in the future:
– appeal to a notary for the realization of the right to inherit by law (Article 1264 of the CC of Ukraine);
– division of property (Article 74 of the FC of Ukraine);
– recognition of the right to maintenance of woman and man who are not married to each other (Article 91 of the FC of Ukraine);
– recognition of divorce as fictitious (Article 108 of the FC of Ukraine);
– recognition of the right of a stepmother, stepfather to take part in the upbringing of a stepson, stepdaughter (Article 260 of the FC of Ukraine);
– recognition of the obligation to take care of a grandmother, grandfather, great-grandmother, great-grandfather, as well as a person with whom the person cohabited (Article 264 of the FC of Ukraine);
– recognition of the obligation of a person to support those with whom he/she lived as one family until adulthood (Article 271 of the FC of Ukraine);
– registration of benefits and allowances provided for both by the legislation of Ukraine as amended in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic and by the legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The abovementioned list of rights that can be implemented in the future is not exhaustive. In this regard, it is possible to establish the fact that a man and a woman cohabited outside a registered marriage in a judicial proceeding by submitting a relevant application to the court of general jurisdiction of the Donetsk People’s Republic by one of the parties.