Unfortunately, after a divorce, a lot of conflicts arise due to disagreement with who the child should be with. In most cases, such a dispute is resolved during the divorce, although there are no restrictions on the definition of meta residence. To prevent unnecessary stress in your children, parents need to agree on where and with whom the children will be staying.
The family code of Ukraine provides for the possibility of a father and mother to conclude an agreement on establishing the child’s place of residence. In addition to establishing a place of residence, it may spell out the rights and obligations for the care, upbringing, and education of children. This kind of contract is necessarily concluded in writing and is notarized.
If the parents have not reached an agreement on the location of the child, then the conflict between them will be resolved through the court or the guardianship authorities. In considering the case, the court will determine which of the parents the child will be with. But this does not mean that the second parent does not have the right to take part in the life of the child.
To go to court, you must file a lawsuit, pay a state fee, which, according to the Law of Ukraine “On Court Fee”, is 0.4 of the cost of living for able-bodied citizens, and to collect additional documents. Below is a list of required documents:
- Birth certificate
- Divorce certificate
- Claimant's income document
- Help from school or kindergarten
- Certificate of title to real estate
- Medical certificate of the child’s health
- Housing Inspection Act
- Characteristics from the place of work (if any) and residence
- Family Fee Receipt
There may also be testimonies that will discredit your ex-spouse. For example, alcohol abuse, child abuse, lack of regular work, etc. It is advisable that such testimony be supported by relevant documents, otherwise there is a risk of being considered unfounded.
When passing a verdict on the child’s place of further residence, all factors that are important are taken into account: health status (absence of diseases that can harm the offspring), attachment to each parent, presence / absence of bad habits, financial situation, living conditions, attitude to fulfilling one’s parent functions, etc. The nature of work plays a very important role: the presence of long-term business trips will testify against you.
It is extremely important to prove your responsibility (material and moral) in fulfilling parental obligations. It is very good if there are witnesses who will speak in your favor, however, documentary evidence of your reputation still plays a decisive role. Therefore, you should go to court to obtain a description from the place of your residence, work, characteristics from the place of study of the son or daughter in order to prove direct participation in the life of the child. You also need to provide documents that speak of your high financial situation, because it is the availability of money that often indicates the opportunity to attend various sections, circles, receive qualified medical assistance, develop culturally and, as a result, become a full member of society. A very important role is played by a certificate on the absence of arrears of maintenance payments, if you are a payer, because some judges even refuse to accept the statement of claim if there are some debts.
Earlier in court practice, most cases of determining a place of residence were decided in favor of the mother, because according to paragraph 6 of the “Declaration on the Rights of the Child”, the mother and the baby need not be separated if there is no good reason for this. However, in the orders of the Supreme Commercial Court of Ukraine (Supreme Specialized Court of Ukraine) it was said that it is necessary to determine the child’s place of residence from the balance between the rights of parents and the interests of the son or daughter. It is important to use the norms of the convention on the rights of the child, according to which the provision regarding the priority of the mother over the father is not discriminated (the principle of equality is respected).
Upon reaching the age of 14, a child can determine his whereabouts. Young children are deprived of this privilege, and the opinion of children who have reached the age of 10 is taken into account by the court.
If the parent does not agree with the court decision, it is possible to appeal it.
Then you need to file a complaint with the court of appeal, which issued a decision on the whereabouts of the child. Documents are submitted exclusively in writing.
The legislation of Ukraine provides for the possibility of going to court to re-examine the case, as circumstances can often change (changes in health status, the appearance of new passions in ex-spouses, changes in income). An application to the court is filed at the place of residence of the child.