How does divorce work in court?

How does divorce work in court?

If the spouses have children who have not reached the age of majority, or one of them does not agree to separate, the dissolution of the marriage occurs only in court (in accordance with the Family Code of Ukraine).

The court will consider cases of termination of marriage. It all depends on whether the spouses have reached an agreement on the future place of residence of the children and there is no need to consider the issue of dividing jointly acquired property.

The divorce procedure in court contains several stages:

  • drawing up a statement of claim and providing a set of documents;
  • payment of the court fee (for 2021 it is 908 UAH, 00 kopecks);
  • adoption of a court ruling on the opening of proceedings in the case;
  • preliminary hearing on the case;
  • main hearings;
  • adoption of a court decision and entry into force.

The duration of the divorce process in court depends on the number of meetings, the appearance of the parties, and the presence or absence of a period for reconciliation of the spouses. As a rule, the minimum period for making a court decision on divorce is one month from the moment the statement of claim is accepted for consideration.

Court hearings on divorce, like other administrative cases, are conducted by a single judge or a judge and a secretary. Any hearing consists of:

  • checking the appearance of the parties;
  • declaration of their rights and obligations;
  • speeches of the plaintiff and defendant;
  • examination of evidence;
  • debates between the parties;
  • announcement of the court decision.

The procedure for divorce through court

After the initiator of the divorce sends a statement of claim to the court with the relevant requirements, the judge decides to open proceedings in the case. If the application is drawn up incorrectly or an incomplete set of documents is provided, the court may refuse to accept the application or return it to the plaintiff to eliminate shortcomings that interfere with the consideration of the case.

If the application is accepted, the court schedules a preliminary hearing. According to current legislation, it is necessary to determine whether the case is ready for consideration. The preliminary hearing is conducted by the judge alone, and the plaintiff and defendant are notified in advance of the date and place of its holding.

During the preliminary court hearing, the judge checks the submitted documents and finds out additional circumstances. At this stage, the spouses will be asked to reconcile. If this does not happen, the court will set a date for the main hearing.

Divorce hearing through court

Divorce hearings, like other court hearings, begin with a verification of the parties’ attendance. If the spouses are present, the hearing is declared open. If the spouses have been notified of the date and place of the hearing, but one of them does not appear in court, the divorce hearing may be postponed for further notification.

Like any meeting in civil cases, consideration of a divorce case takes place in several stages:

1. The court explains to the spouses the rights and obligations of the parties. Thus, according to the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, the plaintiff has the right to abandon the claim, increase or decrease the amount of the claim. At this point, the spouses may file motions relevant to the case.

2. Speech by the plaintiff and defendant. According to the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, the parties must prove the circumstances on which they establish their claims.

  • In the case of divorce proceedings, the judge invites the wife, who is the plaintiff, to speak first. She can explain the reasons why extending the marriage is not possible.
  • After the plaintiff speaks, the other spouse can ask him a question and express his point of view.

If the defendant does not agree with the decision to divorce and believes that there is a chance to save the family, his statements may be taken into account by the judge. In this case, the spouses are given a period for reconciliation.

3. Examination of evidence. After the spouses have spoken and voiced their position, the judge begins to study the evidence. This stage is especially important if, simultaneously with the divorce case, issues of division of property acquired jointly by spouses or the subsequent place of residence of children are considered. The court may consider written evidence, such as income certificates, involved specialists and witnesses.

4. Debates between the parties. After examining the evidence presented by the spouses, the judge gives them the opportunity to speak again. This stage is called debate between the parties. The plaintiff and defendant or their representatives during the court debate may speak taking into account what they heard and evidence presented by the other party.

5. Announcement of the court decision. After the parties debate, the court may take a break, schedule a rehearing for another day, or immediately make a decision on the divorce case. If only the issue of divorce is being considered, the judge, after the first meeting, often sets the spouses a period for reconciliation, after which a new meeting is scheduled and the final court decision is made.

The speeches of the spouses, questions and explanations of the judge, according to the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, are recorded in the minutes of the court session. It can be drawn up both during the hearing and after it within three days. Spouses may request that circumstances that seem significant to them for consideration of the divorce case be included in the protocol.

What questions does a judge ask during a divorce in court?

Family legislation of Ukraine is aimed at protecting childhood, motherhood and preserving the family. Therefore, the main task of the judge when hearing a divorce case is to find out the reason for the collapse of the family union and try to prevent divorce. The main question that the judge will ask the spouse initiating the divorce will be the reasons for the divorce. The most common reasons for dissolving a family union are:

  • alcohol or drug addiction of the husband or wife;
  • adultery;
  • separation or loss of close relationships in a couple;
  • cruelty was shown by one of the spouses.

If the spouses have minor children, then another important question will be whether an agreement has been reached between the spouses on the place of their subsequent residence and the procedure for communication with each parent.

At the re-hearing, the judge will check with the spouses whether they have changed their decision. If this does not happen even after the reconciliation period, a court decision will be made to dissolve the marriage.

Time limits for divorce through court

Divorce proceedings in court can definitely last longer than divorce through the civil registry office:

  • usually the first hearing in the case can be scheduled no earlier than a month after the statement of claim is accepted;
  • a decision made by the court also comes into force 30 days after its promulgation (this period is given to the parties appealing the decision).

Thus, the minimum period for dissolving a family union through the courts is two months.

The duration of the divorce process is directly affected by the appearance of the parties. Provided that both the plaintiff and the defendant were notified of the date and place of the hearing, but one of them did not appear in court, the judge has the right to postpone the hearing and set another date for the consideration of the case. Moreover, according to the legislation of Ukraine, a court decision can be canceled if the meeting took place without one of the spouses or his representative and there is no written confirmation that he was notified.

However, even if both parties appear, the divorce through the court may be postponed for several months due to the setting of a deadline for reconciliation of the spouses. According to the Family Code of Ukraine, this period cannot exceed six months.


The rules for ending a marriage in court are regulated by the Family Code and the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine. The appearance of both parties and previously reached agreements on the future place of residence of the children and the division of jointly acquired property will help speed up the consideration of the case.

Services of a family lawyer

A family lawyer will provide you with legal advice and help you draw up all the necessary documents for the divorce hearing.

We are responsible for the quality of legal services and guarantee a positive result.

With the help of a family lawyer or lawyer, your divorce case will be resolved more professionally and quickly.

By contacting us, you are guaranteed to receive professional legal assistance in a divorce hearing.

Alexey Scriabin
Alexey Scriabin
Family lawyer
Our many years of experience in the legal field are a guarantee of your success - this is what you need now to solve your problem.

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Take the first step towards your victory in a legal case at a divorce hearing, call or write to a lawyer and you will receive answers to all your questions.

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