3 How can the spouses arrange their property regime?

3.1. Which provisions can be modified by a contract and which cannot? Which matrimonial property regimes may be chosen?

Articles 93 and 97 of the Ukrainian Family Code stipulate that spouses or persons intending to marry may conclude a marriage contract governing the property relationships between them, determining their matrimonial property regime and obligations. Under a marriage contract,immovable property and other property cannot be transferred to the property of one of the spouses. The marriage contract may also define the property rights and responsibilities of the spouses as parents. The marriage contract may determine the property which the spouse, the spouse transfers for the common needs of the family, and the legal rules governing the property received as a gift by reason of the marriage. The parties may agree that property acquired during the marriage shall be considered as joint partial ownership or personal private ownership. The parties may also agree on a possible procedure for the division of property, including in the event of divorce. The parties have the right to include in the marriage contract any other provision on the matrimonial property regime if it does not conflict with the moral principles of society.

3.2. What are the formal requirements and who should I contact?

A marriage contract is subject to mandatory notarisation. In the event of failure to comply with the requirements of the Notarisation Act, such a contract shall be void. Spouses must notify the competent institutions of the existence of a marriage contract in order to take into account the agreements when exercising the spouses’ rights. In Ukraine, there is not yet a unified electronic register of marriage contracts.

3.3. When may the contract be concluded and when does it come into effect?

The marriage contract concluded before the marriage is celebrated enters into force on the date on which the marriage is registered, and the marriage contract concluded after the marriage has been celebrated — the day of its notarisation, which must be indicated in the text of the contract.

3.4. May an existing contract be modified by the spouses? If so, under what conditions?

A marriage contract may include provisions relating to the procedure for amending its conditions. Unilateral changes to the conditions of the marriage contract or unilateral refusal of the marriage contract are not permitted. The spouses may amend the marriage contract only after the conclusion of an appropriate contract, subject to mandatory notarisation.