Prenuptial agreements in Ukraine: myths and reality

Prenuptial agreement can help to avoid many conflicts that occur during divorce. Such agreement is well known thing but it is still entered into rarely. The reasons not to enter into a prenuptial agreement are mainly psychological and frequently are based on lack of knowledge or incorrect understanding of nature of prenuptial agreement and its role for matrimony. We will try to refute some of the myths. This material should not be considered a legal advice.

Myth #1. Signing prenuptial agreement shows lack of trust to each other

Refutation: prenuptial agreement on contrary shows trust to each other, it proves love and trustworthy relations that are based not only on words but also on paper. It secures the agreements that have been reached by a couple and provides them with legal power. Thus it is possible not only to promise “mountains of gold” but to secure this legally.

Moreover prenuptial agreement can stipulate not only division of property in case of divorce but also property rights and obligations of a couple in matrimony. For example it may be an obligation of husband to provide his wife with a certain amount of money household expenses; obligation of wife to spend family budget efficiently; it can be stipulated that property which is acquired by the couple will belong them under private ownership or joint share ownership instead of joint common ownership. The more promises to each other are legally secured the less arguments regarding their list and content will appear and they will be trusted more.

Myth #2. Prenuptial agreement impinges on personal life

Refutation: Section 3 of Article 93 of the Family Code of Ukraine provides that a prenuptial agreement cannot regulate personal relations of a couple as well as personal relations between couple and children. The agreement can stipulate only property rights and obligations of a couple.

So nobody will be able to prohibit you to watch football and drink beer in the evening or demand quitting bad habits. No agreement can obligate you to take out trash every day, wash up or perform “conjugal duty”. These and other stipulations of a prenuptial agreement which impinge on personal relations are null by means of law. So it is not required to receive a court’s decision to recognize them void.

On contrary a prenuptial agreement can solve all property issues and disputes which will give you time for the most important thing –love, the love that is based not on gainful intentions but on sincere sympathy to each other.

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Myth #3. Prenuptial agreement limits rights of women

Refutation: Section 4 of Article 93 of the Family Code of Ukraine provides that a prenuptial agreement cannot put a spouse in a very unbeneficial material position. And therefore stipulations of an agreement which significantly limit rights of a spouse can be recognized as void. At the same time obligations of a husband that are stipulated in such agreement can become an additional protection for a woman.

Myth #4. Prenuptial agreement is complicated and expensive

Refutation: Article 92 of the Family Code of Ukraine provides that in order to have a right to enter into prenuptial agreement it is required to provide an application about registration of matrimony or already be in a registered matrimony. Article 94 of the Family Code of Ukraine provides that the agreement itself must be in written form and notarized. It is not required to perform evaluation of property or register prenuptial agreements.

Besides when compared with the divorce proceedings cost and risk to lose valuable property based on their results a prenuptial agreement is a very cheap way of conflicts settlement. Also it does not only settle disputes but also prevents such.

The material was prepared by law firm “Pravova Dopomoga”.

Publication date: 01/12/2011

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