Divorce in the presence of a dispute about children

Развод при наличии спора о детях

Family lawyer in Ukraine
Skryabin Alexey Nikolaevich
Skryabin Alexey Nikolaevich
Doctor of Law
Hello! In this article I will tell you how to file a divorce if there is a dispute about who the child will live with, whether the child can stay with the father and how to restore the right to communicate with the child.

Divorce in the presence of a dispute about children in Ukraine

If the spouses have common minor children, then, as a general rule, the divorce takes place in court. Which court to apply for a divorce depends on whether the parents have a dispute about the place of residence of the children or not.

Most often, children stay with their mother, but in some cases, the court may decide in favor of the father.

In any case, each parent has the right to participate in the life of the child, so it is necessary to determine the schedule of meetings of children with the father (or mother) living separately. Even if the parent has been deprived of parental rights, he has the right to restore the right to communicate with the child if he changes his lifestyle.

How to dissolve a marriage in Ukraine if there is a dispute about children?

The Family Code of Ukraine establishes a mandatory norm for the divorce procedure when spouses have common minor children. In this case, divorce is possible only in court.

There are exceptions to this rule in the legislation, provided for by the Family Code of Ukraine. One of the parties can file a divorce in the DRACS authorities without the consent of the man and even if the couple has minor children, if:

  • One of the spouses was declared incompetent by the court.
  • One of the spouses was recognized by the court as missing (or declared dead).

It is impossible to dissolve a marriage if the wife is pregnant or the spouses have a child under the age of one year.

Also, an exception to the rule is provided if the child is not common (kindred only with one of the spouses, for example, an unadopted child from a previous marriage), in which case divorce is possible through the registry office with common consent.

If the child was adopted by the spouse (wife), then, despite the fact that he is not a blood relative of his stepfather (stepmother), the child will be considered common. So marriage in this case can be terminated only by the court.

Divorce in Ukraine, if there is a dispute between the spouses about who the child will live with

As a general rule, statements of claim are sent to the place of residence of the defendant. However, if the plaintiff is a father with whom minor children live, then he has the right to file a claim at his place of residence.

That is, the case will be considered under the rules of alternative jurisdiction.

It is necessary to go to court if the spouses do not come to a common opinion about the place of residence of the child and the procedure for communicating with him. In addition, you will need to apply to the district court in the following cases:

  • if the spouses share jointly acquired property;
  • if necessary, confirm or object paternity (maternity)
  • if it is necessary to resolve the issue of limiting or depriving the parental rights of the second spouse.

With whom will the child live after the divorce?

I still can’t understand which court will consider the divorce case if there is a dispute between the spouses about who the child will live with, but the child himself (he is 10 years old) wants to live with me (with his mother)? Can I apply for a divorce to the court, because I know for sure that my daughter will not stay with her father and the dispute is inappropriate here, and we are not going to share common property in court.

If your man is against the child staying with you, divorce is possible only in court. The judge will listen to the arguments of each of the parties, as well as the opinion of the child, and make an appropriate decision.

For filing a claim to determine the place of residence of a child, the court fee is 908 UAH. 00 kop. If the claim is successful, the court fee will be collected from the defendant. If the claim is denied, then the specified amount will not be returned to you.

Divorce in Ukraine with children

The place of residence of the child is determined either in court or on the basis of an agreement between the parents. Parental agreement is the simplest and most convenient option that does not require the involvement of outsiders, prioritizes the divorce process and allows you to maintain good relations between the parents of the child. If the parents cannot peacefully resolve the dispute about the children, it is necessary to go to court.

As a rule, the minor is left to live with the mother, but the father has the right to actively participate in the upbringing of the child. The court needs to carefully consider all the circumstances of the case and decide with whom the child should stay. The court must consider the following factors:

  • Child’s age.
  • The commitment of the child to each parent, as well as to other brothers or sisters in the family.
  • Moral, moral and other significant qualities of the personality of each of the parents.
  • Relationship between children and father.
  • The possibility of creating the conditions necessary for the normal upbringing and development of the child’s personality by the father and mother.

The last paragraph provides:

  • Mode of work, occupation of father and mother.
  • Financial (material) position of the father and mother.
  • Father’s marital status and other circumstances.

When a child reaches the age of 10, the court takes into account his opinion about which parent he would like to stay with. At the same time, the desire of the child is not the main argument for the court: if during the hearing it turns out that the child wants to live with his father, because he allows him to eat chips and stay awake until two in the morning, then the judge will make decisions, taking into account other significant factors .

Also useful information on the site “Divorce Online” of the family lawyer Skryabin Aleksey Nikolaevich for you may be: a court decision on divorce, a divorce from an incompetent husband, a divorce after the death of a husband, the moment of termination of a marriage during a divorce, a change of surname during a divorce, a replacement of a passport after a divorce, period for reconciliation of spouses, divorce from a convict, replacement of documents when changing a surname after a divorce, registration of divorce.

Can a child stay with his father after a divorce in Ukraine?

According to statistics, in Ukraine the child is left with the father after the parents divorce only in 10% of cases. This is possible if:

  1. The mother herself agrees to leave the child with the father, that is, there is a voluntary agreement between the spouses, which will be approved by the court.
  2. The child’s mother is unable to fulfill her parental responsibilities due to excessive drug or alcohol use. You can prove this with the help of medical certificates, testimonies, and so on.
  3. The mother is in great financial difficulty. In this case, the court must compare the financial condition of both parents, and also find out if they have their own housing.
  4. The mother suffers from mental disorders or her legal capacity is limited.
  5. The mother does not cope with her responsibilities for the upbringing and maintenance of the child: she leaves him unattended or resorts to violence. The court will take into account the degree of parental responsibility. An irresponsible mother will not be able to get the right to raise a child.
  6. An older child is strongly attached to the father.
  7. Conclusion of the body of guardianship and guardianship in favor of the father. An act of examining the living conditions of the child and the person applying for education, as well as a conclusion on the merits of the stated requirement, should be submitted to the judge. These documents will also be taken into account by the court.

If you need to resolve the issue through the courts, you need to collect as many documents as possible, checks, various receipts, letters from the mother, official requests to government agencies, bank statements confirming the efforts of the father. Testimonies and other evidence are also important. Based on this, the court will decide with whom to leave the child.

Establishing a relationship with the child

According to the Family Code of Ukraine, spouses of parents can participate in the upbringing of their minor child. Parents have the right to independently decide the issues of upbringing and communication with children (oral and written agreements). But it happens that the presence of conflicts between parents makes them go to court to determine the order of communication with the child.

A statement of claim to determine the procedure for communicating with a child is submitted by one of the parents living separately from him. The complainant must propose a communication procedure that he or she believes will be fair. He must convince the judge that the schedule he proposed will not harm the child: it does not bring down the child’s regimen, is real and meets his interests. The claim specifies certain days and hours of communication, as well as the order of communication during holidays and vacations. Often, the defendant may file a counterclaim, where he will request a reduction in the time allotted for communication, as well as offer his own schedule.

In these court proceedings, the guardianship and guardianship authorities must be present and give an opinion. Representatives of the service must visit the places of residence of the parents, and then provide the court with their findings. In addition, interviews are held with both parents. Often the court involves an expert psychologist in such cases, who draws a conclusion, while clarifying the significance of the child’s communication with each parent.

After studying the case materials, the parents’ explanations and the conclusions of the guardianship authorities, the district court makes a decision. The proceedings usually take several months. In addition, the court has the right to invite the parents to agree, and the parents can sign a settlement agreement. However, if it is violated, each of the parties may apply to the bailiff service for enforcement. In fact, enforcement in such cases is fairly and poorly tolerated by both children and parents.

Restoration of the right to communicate with a child in Ukraine

The father has the right to restore the right to communicate with the child. You can achieve what you want through the court by filing a claim. This is done in two cases:

  • The father decided to change the terms of the agreement with his wife on the order of communication with the child or the court decision.
  • The father, deprived of parental rights, wants to resume communication with the child.

The first option is possible if the conditions under which a preliminary decision was made or an agreement were concluded were significantly changed. The reasons for changing the order of communication with the child may be different: a change in the status of the child (went to school or fell ill), a change in the living conditions of the child (moving to a new place of residence and increasing the distance between places of residence), changes in the second parent (the father or mother began to travel often business trip) and other reasons.

Deprivation of parental rights is not an indefinite decision and can be reviewed, which means that the restoration of the right to communicate is also possible. To do this, a person deprived of parental rights must change their behavior, antisocial lifestyle, attitude towards the child, get a job, and so on.

In the statement of claim for the restoration of the right to communicate with the child, it is necessary to substantiate the reasons for changing the established order, that is, it is necessary to prove the validity of your claims. The statement of claim is submitted to the district court at the location of the defendant, in addition, documents confirming the requirements must be added to the claim. If the court considers the plaintiff’s evidence and arguments sufficient, he may restore the right to communicate with the child.

Questions from our readers and answers from a consultant in Ukraine

My wife and I have come to the decision that we need a divorce by mutual (general) agreement. But at the same time, two children were born in our marriage. The first now, and the second. We don’t have any property disputes. As for child support, my wife and I also agreed. Such a question: if I file a lawsuit in our district court (I will be the plaintiff, she will be the defendant), what documents will I need to bring with me?

You should bring the following documents:

  • A statement of claim stating the reasons for the divorce.
  • Original marriage certificates and passports of both parties (if one man is against, then only yours).
  • Receipt for payment of the court fee.
  • Copies of children’s birth certificates
    information about the composition of the family.

Hello, can I sue my husband for a divorce if I have minor children from him. But at the same time, I want to sue at the place of registration in Zaporozhye, and my husband and children are registered in Kyiv, but the children live with me. Can I do it?

Yes, you can sue where you live. Living with you underage children is the basis for filing a claim under the rules of alternative jurisdiction, that is, in your place of residence.

My husband and I are getting divorced, but we have a child together. My husband owned an apartment before the wedding, and I now rent an apartment. My husband and I both have stable jobs. My daughter goes to school near the man’s apartment, where we used to live with him. In a divorce, each of us will demand to keep the child to ourselves. So what will the court decide during a divorce, because the apartment belongs to a man?

It is difficult to say with certainty what the court will decide. On the one hand, a man’s apartment is a plus for him. But practice shows that most often the child is left with the mother. If your daughter is already 9 years old, then she will be asked with whom she wants to live. In addition, having a permanent stable job is a plus for you. If you do not have a chronic dependence on alcohol or drugs, and you have not been brought to administrative and criminal liability, then the court will most likely take your side. However, in any case, he will study all the circumstances of the case, so we recommend that you thoroughly prepare for the meeting and prepare as many complaints as possible confirming the need for the child to live with you.


If there is a dispute about children, the marriage is dissolved in court. The child will most likely stay with the mother, but if there are more advantages to leaving the child with the father, then the court may take his side. Parents determine the order of communication with their daughter or son by agreement, otherwise the court does it.

If a parent has been deprived or limited in their parental rights, he can file a lawsuit in court to restore the right to participate in the life of the child. The court will satisfy the claim only if the plaintiff’s behavior and image have really changed.

Services of a family law lawyer in Ukraine

  • A family lawyer will provide you with legal advice and help you draw up all the necessary documents for the communication of a parent with a child after a divorce.
  • We are responsible for the quality of legal services and guarantee a positive result.
  • With the help of a family lawyer or a lawyer, your case of parent-child communication after a divorce will be resolved more professionally and quickly.
  • By contacting us, you are guaranteed to receive professional legal assistance in communicating between a parent and a child after a divorce.

Take the first step towards your victory in a legal case on communication between a parent and a child after a divorce, call or write to a lawyer and you will receive answers to all your questions.

Family lawyer in Ukraine
Scriabina Daria Sergeevna
Scriabina Daria Sergeevna
PhD in Law
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Useful site materials rozluchennya-onlain.com.ua:

  1. Divorce in district court
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  3. Divorce in court in Ukraine
  4. File a divorce through the registry office in Ukraine
  5. How to file a divorce
  6. Where to file for divorce
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