Marriage contract

Extracts for legal literacy News

Marriage is a cultural and historical tradition of our population, aimed at forming a family as a separate social unit, which presents mutual rights and obligations of spouses.

In addition to civil law contracts (sale and purchase, donation), spouses may conclude other property contracts for which the status of persons entering into marriage is mandatory.

A marriage contract is an agreement between persons entering into marriage, or an agreement between spouses, which determines the property rights and obligations of spouses in marriage and (or) in the event of its termination (Article 40 of the DPR Family Code).

A marriage contract is a type of civil contract, and for this reason, it is also subject to the provisions of Article 11 of the DPR Civil Code on conscientiousness, abuse of the right, inadmissibility of violating the rights of another person, observance of the moral principles of society, as well as in terms of other civil principles.

It should be noted that persons living in a so-called “civil marriage” are deprived of the opportunity to conclude a marriage agreement due to the fact that the current legislation does not provide for such a concept as a de facto marriage relationship (civil marriage). The parties to this agreement must be legally married, registered in the civil registry office.

This agreement is concluded in writing, the text of the document must contain all the essential conditions under which the spouses came to an agreement. In addition, a marriage contract must be notarized (Part 2 of Article 41 of the DPR Family Code). In case the conclusion of a marriage contract is carried out before the marriage registration, it enters into force at the moment of its state registration. If the decision to conclude a marriage contract is made by spouses who are already married, then the moment of entry into force of such an agreement is the moment of its certification by a notary. It should be noted that violation of the requirements of the law on notarization may lead to the recognition of the agreement as invalid (Articles 216, 218 of the Civil Code of the DPR).

Minors also have the right to conclude a marriage contract. However, due to the fact that persons under the age of 18 do not have full legal capacity, they will need the written consent of legal representatives (parents, guardians, trustees), certified by a notary in order to register a contract. If the agreement is concluded by minor spouses, then parental consent is not required, since in accordance with Part 2 of Article 24 of the Civil Code of the DPR, persons under the age of 18 acquire full civil legal capacity from the time of marriage (that is, they have all the rights and obligations adult citizens, including the right to conclude a marriage contract).

Since the marriage contract concerns and is concluded to regulate property interests, its subject is only property, joint or personal, present or future, as well as the right to carry out transactions with it, then, accordingly, conditions of a different nature are not indicated in a marriage contract.

A marriage contract cannot:

  • Restrict the legal capacity or capacity to act of any of the spouses (that is, infringe on the right to go to court to protect his/her rights and interests; prohibit the spouse from working or restrict the choice of an activity or profession; restrict the right to receive income; the right to make transactions; the right to inherit and make a will; freedom of movement, etc.);
  • Regulate personal non-property relationships. It is not allowed to establish conditions governing personal relations between spouses, as well as spouses in relation to their children, for example: habits (the spouse undertakes to quit smoking; the spouse undertakes not to abuse alcoholic beverages), preferences, ways of expressing the feelings of each of the spouses, the obligation to love each other, keep marital fidelity, etc.;
  • Establish other provisions that contradict the legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic (with whom the children will stay in the event of a divorce, establishing the place of residence, etc.).

To conclude a marriage contract, both spouses need to visit a notary, be ready to provide the following documents:

  1. A marriage certificate (for spouses) or a certificate of filing an application with the civil register office (in case of marriage);
  2. Civil passport, TIN;
  3. Birth certificate of a child, if a marriage contract specifies issues that concern him/her;
  4. Originals of title deeds of the property, the fate of which you want to determine in the contract.

Before certifying a marriage contract, a notary is obliged to explain to spouses their rights and obligations, the meaning of the contract they conclude, to warn about the legal consequences of its conclusion.

The marriage contract can be changed or terminated at any time by agreement of the spouses, concluded in the same form as the marriage contract itself (Part 1 of Article 43 of the Family Code of the DPR). An agreement to modify or terminate a marriage contract is concluded in the same way as the marriage contract itself, with a notary and in the mandatory presence of both spouses with identity documents and real estate documents. The law does not allow unilateral refusal to fulfil the marriage contract, the terms of the contract must be fulfilled by both spouses.

If it was not possible to reach a joint agreement, the marriage contract may be changed or terminated by a court decision, on the grounds and in the manner established by the Civil Code of the DPR for modifying and terminating the contract (Part 2 of Article 43 of the Family Code of the DPR). The spouse who wants to change or terminate the contract, including declaring it invalid, can exercise his/her will by filing a claim with the court.

The validity of the marriage contract  is terminated from the moment of dissolution of the marriage, except for those obligations of the spouses, which are stipulated by the marriage contract for the period after the dissolution of the marriage. This means that after the divorce, the marriage contract becomes invalid and is valid only under the conditions specified in the contract on the occasion of the dissolution of the marriage.

Thus, the marriage contract, in its essence, is intended not only to resolve the property relations of the spouses’ family life, allowing them to avoid unnecessary conflicts and omissions in relation to material issues in the family, but also to prevent possible future disputes over the division of property in the event of a divorce.

You have the right to draw up a contract that will be most comfortable and beneficial for your couple, as well as protect the property rights of each of you.