Civil Code on Divorce

Civil Code on Divorce

The Civil Code of Ukraine is part of the system of domestic legal acts regulating family legal relations in general (the process of divorce in particular). Obviously, the Civil Code is not the main such normative act, but its norms are the basis for the provisions of the Family Code that directly regulate the divorce process.

  • The Civil Code determines the legal status of spouses, establishing a direct relationship between the legal capacity of individuals and their ability to marry.
  • The Civil Code defines the basic principles on which the division of property of spouses is carried out – equality of shares allocated to them, property not subject to division, etc.

The methods and conditions for formalizing, concluding and terminating agreements on the payment of alimony and the division of property also deserve special attention. Since they are bilateral agreements, these methods and conditions are governed by the provisions of the Civil Code.

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As is known, the conclusion of an officially registered marriage between individuals is a legal fact. From the moment of its actual registration, each of the spouses equally becomes the owner of the corresponding rights and obligations established by family law.

Individuals may acquire the rights and obligations of spouses from the moment they reach marriageable age, which in general cases is 18 years, and in exceptional cases – by court decision.

The legislator’s determination of exactly this age as the main condition for the possibility of marriage is not accidental – in this matter, the provisions of family law are referred to the Civil Code, which defines the main aspects of the legal status of spouses:

  • The possibility of individuals having conjugal rights and obligations due to their civil capacity. Only upon reaching the age of majority, individuals can acquire rights and obligations, including marital ones, through their actions.
  • In cases where the law allows marriage before adulthood, an individual acquires legal capacity from the moment of marriage. It should be understood that the emergence of full legal capacity from the moment of marriage allows the emergence of not only marital, but also any other rights and obligations regulated by the Civil Code.
  • The Civil Code of Ukraine also regulates issues of legal capacity of individuals – the ability to have any rights and fulfill any obligations. This ability occurs in people from the moment of birth and ends at the moment of death. Since spouses are individuals, their ability to have marital rights and duties is directly related to their civil capacity.

Property of spouses during divorce under the Civil Code

The provisions of the Family Code of Ukraine determine the legal regime of the property of spouses acquired during their marriage, according to which they are their common joint property. According to the norms of the Family Code, such common property should be considered all income received by spouses, as well as movable and immovable things acquired with this income.

In the event of a divorce, spouses have the right to division of jointly acquired property, which is carried out voluntarily or judicially.

The rules on the basis of which property is divided during a divorce are established by the Family Code, however, the basic principles of this procedure are undoubtedly taken from civil law. In particular, the Civil Code of Ukraine establishes:

  1. What property is the property of each spouse and is not subject to distribution during a divorce. Such property is what was acquired before the registration of marriage, received by the spouse as a gift and by inheritance, as well as personal items (clothing, shoes, hygiene items, linen, etc.) and the exclusive right to the result of intellectual activity.
  2. The principle according to which the property of each spouse can be recognized as common property – in cases where, at the expense of the common property or personal property of the second spouse, an investment was made in the thing, which significantly increases its value (repair, restoration, modernization).


  3. The principle of equality of shares of spouses in their common property, which must be observed when dividing common property.
  4. The need for monetary compensation for losses in the event of a discrepancy between the allocated property and the share belonging to it during the division of common property.

Limitation period for divorce under the Civil Code

The limitation period is the period established by law during which a person can defend his violated right in court. Regarding divorce, the statute of limitations establishes the period during which former spouses can protect their violated rights arising from family relationships.

Any claims arising from family relationships are not subject to the statute of limitations established by civil law. Exceptions are the terms for the protection of violated rights established by the Family Code of Ukraine itself.

When carrying out the divorce procedure, it is advisable to know the statute of limitations regarding claims for:

  • Division of jointly acquired property. The specified period is 3 years. However, it begins not from the moment of registration of divorce, but from the moment when one of the spouses became aware of a violation of his property rights.
  • Collection of alimony for the maintenance of a minor child. Deadlines for applying to the court, according to which one of the spouses can apply for them, regardless of the period that has passed since the right to alimony arose. Yes, the statute of limitations covers the entire period from the moment the right to it arises until the moment the right is revoked (reaching adulthood, graduating, etc.).
  • Collection of alimony for former spouses in need of such assistance. The period will continue for as long as such right remains in effect. An ex-wife has the right to file a claim in court during pregnancy and before leaving maternity leave, a disabled man – during the period of incapacity, etc., if the second spouse has the means, that is, the ability to pay alimony.

Conclusion of agreements during divorce (Civil Code)

As is known, during the divorce procedure, family law gives former spouses the opportunity to resolve property issues by concluding agreements, in particular, on the division of property, as well as on the payment of alimony.

Since these agreements are agreements, the rules of civil law regarding the conclusion, execution, execution and termination of transactions apply to them. 

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Obligations of spouses during divorce (Civil Code)

The regime for fulfilling the property obligations of spouses during a divorce depends on the nature of the obligation itself. Thus, if there is an obligation of one of the spouses, then recovery can only be applied to the personal property of such a spouse. Upon divorce and subsequent division of property, the debts of one of the spouses cannot be distributed between both of them.

At the same time, if there are common debts at the time of divorce and division of common property, such debts are distributed between the spouses in proportion to the shares they received in the common property.

Let us highlight the main aspects of the distribution of the following general debts:

  • the price and volume of property transferred to each spouse must be taken into account when distributing debts in equal proportions;
  • when distributing property obligations between spouses, the court must take into account the opinion of the creditor;
  • when dividing property, the common obligations of the former spouses may not be divided equally, but counted by giving one of the spouses a larger share of the common property;
  • property obligations of spouses may arise under loan agreements, purchase and sale agreements, loans, etc. If the property received for them falls into common ownership, such an obligation can be considered common to the spouses.


As part of the divorce proceedings between citizen S and citizen M, the court, at the request of S, divides the property jointly acquired by the spouses. This includes an apartment registered in M’s name and purchased by him with funds borrowed from the bank under a loan agreement. So the court determined the shares of each spouse in the ownership of the apartment as equal.

However, given that M has not yet paid the entire loan amount for this apartment, given that the apartment is considered the common property of the spouses, then the debt for it should be considered common. Thus, the court divided part of M’s debt between both spouses.

Answers from a lawyer about divorce under the Civil Code
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Of course, the norms of the Civil Code are not the most basic legal act regulating the divorce process. However, by establishing the basic principles and procedures for carrying out accompanying divorce procedures aimed, in particular, at protecting the property interests of spouses, the norms of the Civil Code of Ukraine undoubtedly constitute the basis and primary support for the norms of domestic family law.

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