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Establishing the Fact of Paternity or Maternity

Every child has the right to know their parents and the right to care for them. To ensure that parents fulfill their responsibilities to the child, it is often necessary to establish the fact of paternity and motherhood.

Statistics says that about 3 million ukrainian children are born and raised in single-parent families, ie without one or both parents. Quite often, unfortunately, children are deprived of full protection, upbringing and development due to divorce, conflict or migration of one of the parents.

However, family law provides:

parents have the right and obligation to jointly raise their children and take care of their health, provide them with education and prepare them for work. If one of the parents lives separately from the family, he is obliged to participate in the upbringing of children and has the right to communicate with them.

It is the protection of the highest interests of the child that is the main purpose of establishing paternity or motherhood.

Why establish paternity?

First of all, based on the established fact of parenthood, it will be easy to force both parents to fulfill their responsibilities towards their children, and thus to ensure their well-being and full upbringing.

Even if the father or mother has died, it is no less important to acknowledge their paternity, as such a child will be guaranteed the right to inherit.

In any case, every child has the right to know his or her origin, and the formal identification of his or her parents is critical to him or her.

In which cases do you need to establish paternity?

Such situations are quite common among modern families:

  • when the child's parents are not married;

  • when a husband refuses to voluntarily acknowledge his paternity while in a de facto marital relationship with his mother;

  • when for some reason there is no record of the child's father in the Birth Register;

  • if a person registered as one of the parents has died;

  • if the mother denies her motherhood.

How is the fact of paternity or motherhood established?

The Family Code of Ukraine stipulates that there are 3 possible ways to establish the fact of paternity or maternity:

  • By law - if the parents are married and their paternity is not disputed by anyone

  • By the parental accord - if there is no marriage, but each parent voluntarily admits that he is the father and mother of the child

  • By court decision - if there is a dispute about the origin of the child

In Ukraine today, there are three ways to establish the fact of paternity: by law, by application of parents, by court decision.

In order to forcibly establish the fact of paternity or maternity, it is necessary to apply to the court with a corresponding application according to the rules of separate proceedings.

It is worth noting that you can apply for recognition of paternity or maternity only within 1 year from the date when you learned or could learn that you are a parent.

Can paternity be challenged?

There are situations when a person is forcibly established paternity, even though he or she is not actually a mother or father. Sometimes it happens that the real parents of the child appear after other persons have been registered by her parents illegally.

For such cases, there is a paternity appeal procedure, which is provided in the following cases:

  • if the husband believes that he is not the father of the child;

  • if the woman believes that the man registered as the child's father is not in fact him;

  • the wife, parents, children may challenge paternity after the death of a person who, for good reasons, did not know during his lifetime that he was registered as the child's father.

To do this, you must file a lawsuit to exclude the record of the father or mother from the birth certificate of the child.

Such appeals are also subject to a statute of limitations of one year (does not apply to the husband's claim to challenge his paternity).

Do you have questions about establishing paternity or maternity? Put them to our lawyers.

It will be pleasure for us to help if you:

  • write your question in the CHAT (red box at the bottom of the page)

  • call our contact number

  • visit our office at: Sq. Solomianska, 2, office 801, Kyiv (by appointment).

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