When it comes to Family Law, we refer to disputes related to marriage, kinship, parental rights and obligations, the status of marital property, and relatives.

In addition, this category of cases includes adoption, guardianship and custody, as well as extra-judicial (contractual) settlement of the rights and obligations of spouses, parents, and relatives.

The lawyer develops a defense strategy for the client, represents the client's interests in court, with the opponent and their lawyer, prepares necessary documents and submits them to the relevant parties, sends legal inquiries, and provides legal advice.

At the same time, in Family disputes, the psychological and emotional state of the client involved in family difficulties remains very important.

Therefore, the Lawyer will do everything possible to provide moral and psychological support to the client, making the process of dispute resolution or adoption as comfortable as possible for them.






Child custody


Establishment of child residence


Child abduction and removal


Termination of parental rights


Division of common property


Establishment and contestation of paternity




Yes. All our lawyers and personnel speak English.

At Disputes Law Firm, we have extensive experience in serving international clients.

We execute and sign agreements remotely, instruct our clients on how to send original papers to Ukraine, and how to certify and legalize power of attorney, in case we can't handle the case with a Client-Attorney agreement.

All communication is done through messengers like WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, and an email.

All data is stored and accessed securely through cloud-based technologies.

The initial consultation fee at Disputes Law Firm varies depending on the nature and complexity of your legal matter:

  • For straightforward regular practice matters and inquiries about our standard procedures, there is no consultation fee.

  • If you require legal advice and guidance specific to your case, the consultation fee is as follows:

    • 70 euros for general questions or matters that do not require extensive research.

    • 130 euros for complex inquiries that involve in-depth research, document discovery, or other evidence-related tasks.

Please feel free to reach out to us with your specific questions, and we can provide more precise guidance on the consultation fee applicable to your situation.

Our office is located at 5 Pyrogova Street, Office 2-A, in Kyiv, Ukraine (postal code: 01054).

You can find us near the "Universytet" metro station.

For your convenience, here's a link to the map.

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We understand the importance of trust and authenticity when seeking legal assistance.

Here are several reasons why you can trust Disputes Law Firm:

  • We are a well-established and reputable law firm located in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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No. The consent or actions of the other spouse are not required.

It is optional. You can delegate participation in court hearings to your lawyer or submit a statement to the court for consideration of the case without your presence.

The fact of divorce itself does not affect the legal regime of marital property or the rights of the spouses regarding children. In Ukraine all these matters are considered by the court with a separate lawsuits.

The sole and sufficient ground for divorce by the court is a statement by one of the parties of unwillingness to continue the marriage.

The reasons for divorce stated in the statement of claim for divorce (different views on life, lack of respect and understanding, etc.) are usually sufficient.

Everything depends on the region of the court and the specific judge/court.

General timelines can be outlined as follows:

  • -The proceedings are initiated within 2 weeks;

  • -A court hearing date is set within a minimum of 2 weeks;

  • -If both parties submit uncontested statements regarding the divorce, the court makes a decision on the divorce on the same date;

  • -The decision becomes legally binding within 30 days and can be obtained and registered with the RACS authorities.

Therefore, the minimum time required for divorce in court is 2 months. MINIMUM.

Unfortunately, there is no maximum timeframe.

During the wife's pregnancy and within one year after the child's birth.

Yes. A marriage can be dissolved.

A contract with a lawyer is drawn up in writing and scanned, and the original is sent by mail to the law firm's address.

We draft the lawsuit and submit it to the court, without waiting for the contract to arrive.

Therefore, for those who are outside Ukraine, there are no restrictions or delays.

Judicial and contractual.

Contractual division also includes mediation, or dispute resolution through an independent mediator.

Contractual property division is carried out by agreement on the division of marital property, which is notarized and subject to state registration.

After the agreement on property division is concluded, the property is immediately divided and registered with a notary for each spouse, according to the conditions set forth in the agreement.

As a general rule, all property acquired from the moment of marriage to its dissolution is marital property and subject to division in case of divorce.

Not considered marital property is property acquired by one of the spouses before marriage, as well as property received by one of the spouses by inheritance or as a gift during marriage.

Objects subject to division include movable property - cars, household items, luxury items, immovable property - apartments, houses, land plots, intellectual property rights - trademarks, etc.

As a general rule, the property acquired by the spouses during the marriage belongs to the wife and husband on the right of joint ownership, that is, equally.

By court decision, the share of the wife's or husband's property may be increased if they live with children or incapacitated adult son, daughter, provided that the amount of alimony they receive is insufficient to ensure their physical, spiritual development, and treatment.

As a rule, the court awards the car to one of the spouses in kind, that is, entirely, and the other spouse is awarded monetary compensation.

The car remains with the spouse who uses it more actively. In exceptional cases, the court may recognize the right of ownership in equal shares, which, however, does not solve the property division problem in any way.


Yes, it is possible. Such a contract must be notarized.

In this case, it has the same legal force as a court decision.

The parent who resides separately from the child.

By adopting a decision to determine the method of participation of one of the parents in the upbringing of the child and communication with them, namely by establishing a visitation schedule with the child.

Parents have equal rights. However, the applicant does not always wish to participate in the upbringing of the child on equal terms with the other parent, and, for example, wishes to have visitation with the child on weekends from 9 am to 8 pm without overnight stays at the place of residence.

In this case, the court or the guardianship and custody authority determine the visitation schedule with the child based on the wishes of the applicant, as well as taking into account the interests of the child and the other parent.

Determining a child's place of residence can be accomplished through various methods, such as judicial, through guardianship and custody authorities, or based on an agreement between the parents.

Assigning a child's place of residence to one of the parents grants that individual the right to demand child support payments, the ability to travel abroad with the child for medical treatment or vacation, the ability to change and register the child's place of residence without the consent of the other parent, as well as the right to demand the child's return through legal means in case of abduction by one of the parents.

The right to communicate with the child.

The right to participate in important events in the child's life.

The obligation to fulfill financial obligations, including child support payments.

In Western countries, the institution of guardianship over a child in the event of a marital breakdown is often regulated by legislation that protects the rights and interests of the child during the parents' divorce. Here are the main aspects that may be included in this institution:

  • Appointment of guardians: In the event of parents' divorce, the court may appoint one or both parents as the child's guardians. Guardianship can be joint (when both parents have equal rights and responsibilities) or sole (when one parent has primary rights and responsibilities).

  • Rights and obligations of guardians: Guardianship grants guardians the right to make decisions regarding the child's welfare and upbringing, such as education, medical care, religious upbringing, etc. The guardian also has the duty to provide the child with a stable and safe environment.

  • Regulation of child support: In the case of sole guardianship, the court may impose an obligation on the other parent to pay child support. The amount of these payments is usually determined based on the parent's income and ability to pay.

  • Shared parenting: In some countries, there is a concept of shared parenting even in the event of divorce, which involves joint decision-making and shared responsibility for the child even when they reside primarily with one parent.

These mechanisms are aimed at ensuring the well-being and protection of the child's rights in the event of the parents' divorce. They are based on principles of fairness, equality, and protection of the child's best interests.

Therefore, these institutions are similar but not identical.

Only by mutual agreement. However, recent Supreme Court practice seems to have allowed for a 50/50 child residency arrangement, even though this right is not provided by law.

Ukrainian law does not consider such acts as a crime and does not provide for any punishment. The police are not authorized to intervene since it is considered that the child is under the control of one of the parents who has equal rights to upbringing with the other.

If the court has determined the child's place of residence with one of the parents, and the other parent has unlawfully changed it, in such a case, the court, upon application, may issue a decision on the child's return to the parent with whom the court determined the child's place of residence.

The objectives of the 1980 Hague Convention are the immediate return of unlawfully removed or retained children to any Contracting State, as well as ensuring compliance with custody and access rights determined by the legislation of one State in other Contracting States.

The removal or retention of a child is considered unlawful if it violates the child's rights to custody, which belong to any person, institution, or other authority according to the legislation of the State where the child resided before the removal or retention, and if these rights were being exercised or would have been exercised but for the removal or retention.

The Convention applies to any child who habitually resided in a Contracting State immediately before the breach of custody or access rights.

The procedure for returning a child under the Hague Convention includes the following steps:

Application to competent authorities: Parents wishing to return the child usually apply to the competent authorities of their country or the country where the child is located, initiating the return procedure. For Ukraine, this is the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

Judicial process: Typically, the case is heard in court in the country where the child is located. The court decides whether there are grounds for returning the child to the place of habitual residence according to the provisions of the Convention.

Enforcement of the court's decision: In Ukraine, the forced return of the child to the country of habitual residence is carried out by the State Enforcement Service.

As stated in the Convention itself, this Convention does not affect the application of the Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in relations between the Parties to both Conventions.

However, nothing prevents the application of the provisions of this Convention for the purposes of returning a child who has been wrongfully removed or retained, or for granting access rights.

Differences from the 1980 Hague Convention

  • Objective: The 1980 Hague Convention aims to return the child to their habitual country of residence, whereas the 1996 Hague Convention relates to the recognition and enforcement of decisions on parental responsibility.

  • But the latter contains provisions (Article 7) that effectively duplicate the provisions of Articles 1-3 of the 1980 Convention.

Parents can be deprived of parental rights in the following cases:

  1. They did not pick up the child from the maternity hospital or other healthcare institution without a valid reason and for six months do not show appropriate parental care.

  2. They avoid fulfilling their duties in raising the child and/or providing them with a general secondary education.

  3. They exhibit cruelty towards the child.

  4. They suffer from chronic alcohol or drug addiction.

  5. They exploit the child in any form, force them into begging or vagrancy.

  6. They are convicted of intentional criminal offenses against the child.

No. This cannot be the sole basis.

No. It's not easy. Almost impossible.

Only in cases where the father shows no care or interest in the child, commits violence against them, or poses a danger to the child.

It's possible, except in one case, if the child has been adopted and the adoption has not been revoked or declared invalid by the court.

To reinstate parental rights, it's necessary to provide the court with evidence of the father's or mother's rehabilitation, their sincere desire to fulfill parental duties, completion of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, and other evidence refuting the circumstances for which parental rights were deprived, as well as the opinion of the guardianship authority regarding the possibility of reinstating the plaintiff's parental rights.

The person deprived of parental rights loses:

  • Personal non-property rights regarding the child and is relieved of obligations regarding their upbringing.

  • The right to be the child's legal representative.

  • The right to benefits and state assistance provided to families with children.

  • The right to be an adoptive parent, guardian, or custodian.

  • The right to maintenance from the child, pension, and compensation for damage in case of loss of the breadwinner, the right to inheritance.

  • Other rights based on kinship with the child.

  • The origin of a child from parents born in marriage is determined based on the marriage certificate.

  • The origin of a child from a father is determined upon the request of a woman and a man who are not married to each other.

  • A lawsuit for paternity recognition may be brought by the mother, guardian, custodian of the child, the person who supports and raises the child, as well as by the child itself who has reached the age of majority.

  • A lawsuit for paternity recognition may be brought by a person who considers themselves to be the father of the child.

  • A lawsuit for paternity recognition is accepted by the court if the record of the child's father in the Birth Registration Book is made in accordance with Part One of Article 135 of the Family Code, i.e., based on the mother's statement.

Yes. Disputing paternity means the person's refusal to recognize themselves as the father of the child.

A person listed as the father of the child has the right to dispute their paternity by filing a lawsuit to exclude the record of themselves as the father from the birth certificate, providing the relevant evidence to the court.

  • An adult person aged no less than twenty-one years, except when the adopter is a relative of the child.

  • A person older than the child they wish to adopt by at least fifteen years. In the case of adopting an adult, the age difference cannot be less than eighteen years.

  • A married couple.

The following individuals cannot be adoptive parents:

  • Persons of the same sex.

  • Unmarried individuals cannot jointly adopt the same child unless they live together as one family.

There is no limit to the number of children one adoptive parent can adopt.

  • Adoptive parents (applicants) must meet the following requirements (in addition to those mentioned above and in Article 212 of the Family Code of Ukraine):

  • Applicants must not have any outstanding or unexpunged convictions.

  • The total income per family member, including adopted children, must exceed the minimum subsistence level set by law (in practice, significantly more).

  • Applicants must own or have the right to use residential premises; the residential premises of the applicants must be in satisfactory sanitary and hygienic condition.

  • There should be a space for study and a separate sleeping place for the child in the residential premises of the applicants.

  • During the examination of the living conditions of the applicants and interviews with them or during the study of their documents, no circumstances or conditions detrimental to the upbringing and development of the child should be revealed.

  • Applicants, apart from relatives of the child, their guardian, custodian, adoptive parents, or foster parents, must undergo training on the upbringing of orphaned and parentless children, confirmed by a certificate.

  • Ukrainian citizens who wish to adopt a child apply with a statement to be registered as adoptive parents to the child welfare service at their place of residence.

  • This application must be made in the presence of a child welfare service employee and certified by them.

  • The application should include the applicant's address (if there are several places of residence, the address of each), passport data of the Ukrainian citizen, phone number, and email address.

  • If one of the spouses cannot personally appear at the child welfare service to write the application, their spouse may submit a notarized application.

  • The following documents are attached to the application: a copy of the Ukrainian citizen's passport or another identity document, a certificate of income for the last six months or a copy of the income declaration for the previous calendar year, certified by the tax authorities.

  • If the adoptive parents are a married couple, one of the spouses may submit a certificate of income for the last six months or a copy of the income declaration for the previous calendar year, certified by the tax authorities.

  • A copy of the marriage certificate registered with the civil registration authorities if the applicants are married; a health certificate for each applicant according to the form specified in Appendix 3; a notarized written consent of the other spouse to adopt the child (in the case of one of the spouses adopting the child), unless otherwise provided by law; a certificate of the presence or absence of a criminal record for each applicant issued by the territorial service center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs; a document confirming the right to own or use residential premises; a certificate of completion of the training course on the upbringing of orphaned and parentless children, with recommendations on the number, age, and health of children that the applicant can adopt, according to the form approved by the Ministry of Social Policy.

  • If Ukrainian citizens who wish to adopt a child are relatives, guardians, custodians, adoptive parents, or foster parents of the child, such a certificate is not required.

  • In the case of one of the spouses adopting the child, a health certificate and a certificate of the presence or absence of a criminal record are submitted by each spouse.

  • The validity period of the documents is one year from the date of issue, unless otherwise provided by law.

Adoption Procedure

  1. Submission of application and documents for registration as adoptive parents;

  2. Completion of the training course on the upbringing of orphaned and parentless children, according to the program approved by the Ministry of Social Policy. The program is designed for 72 hours;

  3. Search and selection of a child. Familiarization with profiles of children available for adoption;

  4. Meeting and establishing contact with the child;

  5. Obtaining a conclusion on the advisability of adoption;

  6. Preparation of documents for submission to the court;

  7. Judicial proceedings;

  8. Court decision;

  9. Entry into force of the court decision;

  10. Inclusion of information about the new parents in the State Register of Civil Status Acts and issuance of the Child's Birth Certificate.

  • Completion of the training course on the upbringing of orphaned and parentless children, according to the program approved by the Ministry of Social Policy. The program is designed for 72 hours, including 16.5 hours for lectures, 32 hours for practical sessions (trainings), 15 hours for self-study, and 8.5 hours for final sessions.

  • Search and selection of a child. This stage is the longest, typically lasting 6-12 months, as finding healthy children who meet the adoptive parents' criteria is challenging.

  • Preparation of the adoption conclusion by the Child Welfare Service and the judicial process. This stage can take from 2 months to half a year.

Orphaned and parentless children, who are available for adoption, can be found on the following websites:

No to Orphanhood!

Ministry of Social Policy

Change One Life

A foreign citizen, as well as a Ukrainian citizen residing abroad, can only adopt a child over 5 years old.

Yes, they do. However, the adoption procedure for foreigners is significantly different from domestic adoption and is more complex and bureaucratic. Foreigners are subject to several restrictions, such as the ability to adopt only children over 5 years old.

The procedure for applying to the Ministry of Social Policy for foreigners and Ukrainian citizens residing abroad is stipulated by this Instruction.

Ukrainian citizens residing outside Ukraine and foreigners wishing to adopt a child residing in Ukraine submit the following documents to the Ministry of Social Policy:

  • A notarized application for registration as adoptive parents, including the applicant's address (if multiple addresses exist, each one should be listed), passport details, phone number, and email address;

  • Copy of the passport of the Ukrainian citizen, copy of the passport of the foreigner or other identification document (in four copies);

  • Conclusion on the eligibility of the applicants to be adoptive parents, issued by the competent authority of the country of residence (in three copies). The conclusion should include information on the living conditions, family composition, attitude towards adoption, completion of training on adoption issues, prior adoption experience, and health condition of the children that the applicants may adopt. Recommendations regarding the number, age, and health status of adoptable children are also included, as well as information on the possibility of adopting a child with disabilities;

  • If desiring to adopt a child with disabilities or other illnesses, the health condition recommendations should list a comprehensive range of diseases, and if present, the applicants are recommended for adopting the child;

  • The conclusion should indicate whether adoption of a child suffering from a listed disease is possible;

  • The conclusion should provide recommendations for adaptation measures for the adopted child to the living conditions in the new environment (language adaptation, availability of special knowledge, skills, and learning conditions, development, and socialization of the child). The conclusion should also indicate whether the applicants have been declared legally incapacitated, deprived of parental rights, had their adoption annulled or recognized as invalid, had their children taken away, or have refused to raise their own or previously adopted children;

  • The competent authority issuing the conclusion on eligibility to adopt should include information on the minimum income level per person set for the region of the applicants' residence, referring to the relevant legal act defining such level.




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