How to confirm divorce in Ukraine for marriage abroad

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In the contemporary world, individuals are increasingly discovering their happiness and love beyond the confines of their homeland, opting to formalize their relationships through marriage. This is particularly pertinent now, as many Ukrainians find themselves abroad involuntarily. However, it's essential to note that in cases where a Ukrainian citizen, previously married, intends to enter into a new marriage abroad, foreign authorities almost always require documentary evidence of the termination of the prior marriage or confirmation that the individual is presently unmarried.

In our article, we will uncover the process of obtaining the necessary documents and elucidate how our legal firm can assist in this matter.

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Document Preparation for Marriage Termination Confirmation

Documents confirming the termination of marriage include:

1.  Divorce Certificate: Issued in cases where the marriage is dissolved by the joint application of spouses without children. This certificate is obtained through the registry office.

2.   Court Decision: If the divorce occurs through a legal process, an official court decision signed by the judge is necessary. The judge's signature must match the one provided in the Apostille Register as a sample. Additionally, the decision should have a mark indicating its legal validity.

3.   Extract from the Marriage Termination Registry: Typically requested by one of the spouses after a divorce through legal proceedings. It is obtained after receiving the court's decision and serves to confirm the divorce entry in the marriage record. This extract includes additional information about the grounds for divorce and complete details about the individuals involved.

4.  Full Extract from the Marriage Registry: Contains all marriage-related information present in the registry at the time of its issuance. It chronologically lists all changes and additional information, including details about marriage, divorce, and any alterations made to the records.

Requirements for Marriage Termination Documents

In most cases, foreign authorities will require documents to be translated into the language of the country where the new marriage is planned. Therefore, the translation of documents is necessary, and such translations must be notarized.

When translating documents, attention should be paid to the client's possession of documents issued in the language being translated. This is crucial, as resolving discrepancies later can be challenging.

Additionally, some countries may require an apostille on documents confirming the termination of marriage. An apostille is an international legalization of documents, confirming their legality and authenticity.

Resolving Document Issues for Marriage Abroad

Last month, a Ukrainian citizen residing temporarily in Switzerland, who had been granted asylum, approached our legal firm. She intended to marry a foreigner but was informed by Swiss authorities that, since she had been previously married to a Ukrainian citizen, she needed to submit a marriage certificate.

The problem was that she did not have this certificate, as, according to Ukrainian legislation, it is returned to the registry office during the divorce process. However, foreign authorities were not aware of the intricacies of the legislation of other countries and insisted on this document.

Our company's lawyers contacted the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to provide an official position and justification for this situation, explaining to foreign competent authorities why a duplicate marriage certificate is not issued in Ukraine. The obtained response, along with an extract from the Marriage Registry and a copy of the court's divorce decision, served as the basis for the marriage registration authorities in Switzerland.

Therefore, a key component of our action plan was to request a full extract from the State Register of Marriages from the registry office department. This extract contained all the necessary information about the marriage, including the date and place of its conclusion. As the client had an underage child and returning to Ukraine was unsafe for her, we prepared a power of attorney draft, which she formalized in Switzerland and sent to us. Our specialists then approached the ZAGS office and obtained the required extract.

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Since the client's previous marriage underwent court dissolution, it was essential to present the court's divorce decree, which, unfortunately, the client did not retain. Therefore, another aspect of our work involved contacting the court that issued the divorce decision.

As all documents needed apostille certification, it was crucial to inform the court archivist in advance about the necessity of ensuring the judge's signature on the court decision closely matched the original.

After obtaining the complete set of documents, we also organized apostille certification and translation into French, enabling their use in Switzerland. Our client now possesses all the necessary documents for the subsequent marriage process.

This case serves as an example of how our legal firm helped the client overcome bureaucratic complexities with minimal involvement, securing the required documents for entering into a new marriage abroad. We take pride in our ability to assist clients in addressing intricate legal matters, providing professional support at every step.

Obtaining confirmation of marriage dissolution for contracting a marriage abroad is a crucial step for those establishing their lives in a foreign country.

Our legal firm is ready to provide comprehensive support throughout this process, ensuring you have all the necessary documents and legal services for a successful marriage abroad. 

We not only assist in document processing but also offer support for personal relocation abroad.

You can find the cost of our legal consultation here.

The cost of our family law services is available here.

Details about support for international relocation can be found here.

Publication date: 04/10/2023
Kuzava Vlasta

About author

Name: Kuzava Vlasta

Position: Junior lawyer

Education: Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchenko

Knowledge of languages: Ukrainian, English

Email: [email protected]

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Marina Losenko
Kuzava Vlasta
Junior lawyer
Ivanna Stefanchyshena
Assistant of the Lawyer