Legalization of Marriage, that Was Contracted Abroad, in Ukraine
The right for marriage is guaranteed by Constitutions and laws of almost each country, but each country has its own laws based on cultural practices, religious factors, etc. This decade people are actively traveling around the world, not only for tourism but also for work, choice the place of residence, and because of that an international marriage is common. Of course, if a bride and a groom are going to reside in the territory of the State in which they were married, the main difficulties will be overcome on stage of preparation for marriage, including collecting the necessary documents for the spouse from another country which can be different for various countries. But what should do the couple if they decided to move temporarily to another country? In this article we will consider the case when one of the spouses is a citizen of Ukraine, and the couple decided to take up permanent residence in Ukraine.
Registered overseas marriage should be legalized in Ukraine if a couple wants to have rights and guarantees established by laws of Ukraine for the couple, such as: inheritance rights, rights in the medical field, parental rights, etc. In Ukraine, the main law that regulates family relations is the Family Code of Ukraine, and for international couples we can look for norms of the Law of Ukraine “About Private International Law”. Regarding to the latest law, we should mention an important detail, namely fixed in paragraph 1 Article 58 of the Law, that the marriage between citizens of Ukraine, the marriage between a Ukrainian citizen and a foreigner, a marriage between a Ukrainian citizen and a stateless person which is concluded outside Ukraine in accordance to the law of a foreign state is valid in Ukraine if grounds for invalidity of marriage are stated according to the Family Code of Ukraine. With most of the countries there are no any difficulties with the recognition of a marriage contracted in their territory with a citizen of Ukraine; however, with some Arab countries nuances may occur, because sometimes their laws put women in a worse position than the current law in Ukraine.
The document which establishes procedures for the immediate legalization of marriage contracted abroad is the order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine №52/5 from 18.10.2000, “On approval of Rules of the state registration of civil status in Ukraine” (as amended). Under these rules, documents issued by the competent authorities of foreign states, evidencing the acts of civil status, concluded outside Ukraine according to the laws of foreign countries are recognized as valid in Ukraine with legalization, unless other conditions are provided by international agreements of Ukraine, consent to be bound by the Supreme Council Ukraine. So, for Ukraine to recognized a marriage contracted in another country, with all the attendant legal consequences, the marriage must be legalized.
As a rule, legalization is a procedure to bring documents in a form that meets laws of a foreign state and are recognized by public authorities of that State. The procedure of legalization of documents in Ukraine, such as a marriage certificate, divorce or divorce contracted abroad, takes place on the basis of the Instruction about the procedure of consular legalization of official documents in Ukraine and abroad, approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine №113 from 04.06.2002. Interested parties should contact the Consulate of Ukraine in the country in which the marriage was contracted, where the Ukrainian consul put the appropriate inscription on the document of identification. In the case of absence in the country of origin of the documents of a consular post of Ukraine, foreign documents can be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the condition of their certification in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of origin of documents and the consular post of the country, which represents its interests in Ukraine. After entry to Ukraine marriage must be official translated, after that the document will be accessible with with same force as documents issued in Ukraine.
Separately I want to note that countries which have signed the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents on 5th of October 1961, there is no need to pass consular legalization. Apostille from the Ministry of Justice of the country is enough. Thus it is necessary to know that not all countries recognize the apostille affixed by Ukraine, in particular Germany necessarily require consular legalization despite the fact that it is a party of the Convention.
You should also pay attention to the fact that the passage of apostille or consular legalization of documents is absolutely not necessary if the documents are issued by countries that have concluded agreements on mutual assistance in civil and criminal cases with Ukraine. For example, documents issued in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, etc.
As you can from the written, document legalization of marriage, as well as other documents of civil status (birth certificate, certificate of divorce, death certificates, etc.) is not particularly difficult. In any case, if concerned person does not want to pursue the matter on his own or does not have time on paperwork, Ukrainian lawyers will help in this matter.
Author: Kydalov Igor