Restoring a marriage after divorce

Restoring a marriage after divorce

A situation may well arise that a citizen with whom the marriage was dissolved after being declared missing or dead by the court returns and the court cancels its corresponding decision. In this case, the question of renewing the marriage arises. However, for this to happen, certain conditions must be met:

  • both former spouses agreed to such a union;
  • the second man did not have a new marriage.

In addition, it is necessary to follow the procedure for family restoration defined by law. This, in turn, consists of canceling the court decision, as well as submitting a joint application to the civil registration authorities (hereinafter referred to as the civil registry authorities) with a request to renew the broken union. The law also defines exceptions, that is, cases when resumption of marriage is impossible.

Grounds for renewing marriage through court

By a court decision and in accordance with the articles of the Civil Code of Ukraine, any person can be recognized as missing or dead. In this case, the man of such a citizen has the right to dissolve (terminate) the marriage.

  • If a citizen is declared dead, the man has grounds for terminating the union.
  • If a citizen is recognized as missing, the marriage can be dissolved in accordance with the requirements of the Family Code of Ukraine.

Divorce on the above grounds generally does not differ from divorce on other grounds, with the exception that if the man appears and the court decision is correspondingly cancelled, such a union can be resumed.

And so, in order to restore marital relations that were severed on the basis of recognition of such a person as missing or dead, the following grounds must be observed:

  • the appearance of the man who was judicially declared missing or dead;
  • reversal of the relevant court decision;
  • submission of a joint application to the registry office by the spouses with a request to renew the broken union;
  • the man’s lack of a new marriage.

The list of grounds indicated above is exhaustive, that is, no additional conditions are required to be fulfilled in order to restore the marital relationship. Thus, there are objective grounds, only if each of them is fulfilled will the union be officially restored.

The procedure for renewing a marriage in court

After the appearance of a citizen recognized by the court as missing or dead, the court is obliged to cancel its decision. Such cancellation is carried out on the basis of Article 44 and Article 46 of the Civil Code, respectively, for each of the above cases. To do this, the wife who has appeared must apply to the appropriate court with a statement indicating the corresponding request. After the court considers the application and cancels its previous decision, the applicant is issued an appropriate ruling.

If a court decision to recognize a citizen as deceased is overturned, such person must contact the civil registry office with a request to cancel the death record.

With the court decision, as well as with a joint statement from the former spouses who want to restore their broken union, they contact the registry office with a request to renew the union. Such an application is accepted for consideration and after checking the necessary documents, a positive decision is made. In this case, spouses are recognized as being in a marital relationship from the moment of its state registration, and not from the moment of resumption of marital relations.

Therefore, the procedure for renewing a marriage can be divided into several stages (steps):

  • the appearance of a man recognized by the court as missing or dead;
  • applying to the court with a request to cancel the decision;
  • the court cancels its decision;
  • former spouses filing an application with the registry office;
  • renewal of marriage by the registry office.

Another step is added to this process if the person has been declared dead by a court. In this case, it is necessary to additionally contact the registry office with a request to cancel the death record.

Judicial practice of restoration of marriage


Kozlov was declared missing by a court decision. His wife applied to the registry office with a request for a divorce. Her appeal was granted, but a year after that, her ex-husband arrived home (that is, the appearance of a person recognized by the court as missing). Upon learning of the court’s decision, Kozlov initiated the process of overturning it. After receiving a document canceling the court decision, he and his ex-wife applied to the registry office with a general statement, which contained a request to restore their marriage.

Thus, the procedure for restoring marital relations is not complicated. The main thing is that both agree to such a restoration of the union, and also that the second man does not have a new marriage. The above provisions are reflected quite succinctly in the legislation. That is why, for a better understanding of the essence, it is necessary to turn to additional sources and not limit yourself only to the letter of the law.

Consequences of renewing a marriage

After the resumption of marriage between the spouses, all those property and non-property rights and obligations provided for by the legislation of our country are also resumed. That is, in general, there is no difference between a continuous and restored marriage.

The legislation does not provide special rules in this regard. However, it is necessary to consider those property features associated with the husband, because this affects the common property of the spouses.

Thus, according to the Civil Code of Ukraine, by a court decision and if it is necessary to manage the property of an absent citizen, a guardianship and trusteeship authority appoints a manager of such property (a corresponding agreement is concluded with him). If, at the time of the husband’s appearance, his property still remains under management (and has not been spent on the maintenance of those citizens the missing citizen was obliged to support, as well as on the repayment of other obligations), then by a court decision such management is canceled.

Accordingly, all property is returned to the citizen who appeared. This rule is established by the Civil Code of Ukraine. Both of the above-mentioned norms are specifically provided for in the event of the appearance of a missing citizen.

A similar rule exists in the case of the appearance of a person recognized as deceased. In general, declaring a citizen dead has the same consequences as real death. However, if such a citizen appears, and the corresponding court decision is canceled, then he has the right to return the saved property, which was transferred to other persons free of charge.

In addition, the property that was transferred for money can also be returned. To do this, it is necessary to prove that the persons who bought this property knew that such a citizen was alive (despite the fact that the court declared him dead).

Thus, the above provisions must be taken into account, since they have a direct impact on the common property of the spouses who have restored their union.

In what cases is it impossible to renew a marriage?

Restoration of marriage is impossible if at least one of the grounds provided for by the Family Code is not met. If a citizen is missing or recognized as dead, and the corresponding court decision is canceled, then only two grounds remain that must be fulfilled.

  • First of all, both men must agree to renew such a union (this is expressed in a joint statement submitted to the registry office).
  • The Family Code provides a special rule – the second man must not have a new marriage. However, this in no case prevents such a spouse from dissolving his new marriage (for example, with the consent of the spouses or on other grounds provided for by law). But you should not think that the appearance of the former spouse may become the basis for the dissolution of such a union (the legislation does not provide for such a provision).

Thus, the resumption of marital relations is impossible if at least one of the grounds for renewing the union is not fulfilled.

Answers from a lawyer about renewing a marriage
My husband was declared dead by court order, which forced me to end my marriage. I did not join the new union. Two years after that he arrived home and we decided to renew our marriage. Is it possible to re-register a marriage? What needs to be done to renew the union?
I dissolved my marriage with my wife because she was declared missing. After that I joined a new alliance. Six months later, the ex-wife returned, as a result of which the court decision to recognize her as missing was overturned. Is it possible to renew my marriage with my ex-wife in my case?
My ex-wife and I are planning to renew our marriage, which was broken off after I was declared dead in court. How will the original marriage differ from the restored union?

Legislation of Ukraine on the resumption of marriage

The restoration of marital relations, as a process, seems quite natural. It is logical that since there is a process for dissolving a marriage on the grounds that the man was declared missing or dead, then there should be a process restoring such a marriage in the event of a citizen’s appearance. It is also natural that the legislation establishes special grounds (conditions), as well as a procedure for restoring the union. In addition, the Family Code also stipulates those cases in which it is impossible to renew the union.

The procedure established by law, which does not provide for too many actions, as well as the preparation of various documents for restoring marital relations with the man whose union was broken.

Despite the non-standard nature of the situation itself, the legislation pays very little attention to this case. However, the regulation proposed by the Civil and Family Codes should be sufficient to successfully resolve this issue. You just need to carefully consider all the formal (i.e. legal) aspects of the above-mentioned issues.

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