The principle of equal duty of parents for the upbringing and development of a child is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Thus, Article 31 of the Constitution states that an equal right and obligation of parents are taking care of children and their upbringing.
The fundamental principle of equality of rights and responsibilities of parents with regard to a child is enshrined in Article 141 of the Family Code of Ukraine (hereinafter – the Family Code). According to this legislative provision, a mother and a father have equal rights and responsibilities with regard to the child, regardless of whether they were married among themselves. The dissolution of the marriage between parents, their living separately from the child does not affect the scope of their rights and does not remove the obligations regarding the child.
At the same time, Article 142 of the Family Code provides that children have equal rights and obligations in relation to their parents, regardless of whether their parents were married to each other.
Based on the principle of complete equality of both parents in all rights and responsibilities with regard to their children, mother and father do not have any advantages in upbringing their children, and in resolving such disagreements, they act as equal subjects of law.
It should be noted that the distribution of rights and responsibilities between the parents of the child is not affected by the facts when:
- parents are married to one another;
- the marriage between parents is dissolved;
- parents are not married to one another.
Also, the scope of the rights and duties of a father or a mother will not be affected by the procedure of voluntary or judicial determination of paternity (motherhood).
The Family Code specifically regulates certain relationships in which the child’s father and mother must agree:
- by definition of the child’s surname, if mother, father have different surnames (Article 145);
- by determining the name of the child (Article 146);
- on the changing of the child’s surname in the event of a change in the surname of one of the parents (Article 148);
- on upbringing a child (Article 157).
If no agreement was reached between the parents on these issues, then such disputes could be resolved by the guardianship and guardianship authority or the court.
Thus, all issues related to the upbringing and maintenance of children should be resolved by mutual consent of parents, based on the interests of the children and taking into account their opinions.