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Family Law: divorce proceedings, conclusion of marriage (Ukraine)

I met my wife over 3.5 years ago. We a civil marriage in Odessa Oblast, Ukraine. She is a current green card holder in US. She has maintained relationships with male friends throughout our marriage which sometimes stressed me. Her mother was ill so she returned to Ukraine to be with her. During the last few months there have been a lot of stresses on our family. My mother died, her father died. I was in Ukraine for New Year. Two weeks ago, by surprise, my wife told me she would divorce me. Although she contends I did everything to make her comfortable her, she missed her country. Two days later, we talked and at that time the divorce was put on hold. The next day, I received an email from one of her male friends detailing an apparent affair with him. Although the evidence would make anyone think twice, I am an intelligient man and have records that prove otherwise. The issue here is my wife values her privacy and believes that I comprimised her trust by hacking into her mail account. I am in IT and her friend was a company owner. Right now she is extremely angry at me an will not talk to me. One of my Ukrainian friends told me that she can just get a lawyer there and claim that I abused her and she can get an uncontested divorce. Is this the case. I do not want a divorce and my immigration lawyers believe otherwise about her. I do not want to see her hurt. What is your advice?


First of all, I would like to express my first opinion on the nature of documents you transferred us, since you sent us those and we spent time on reading them.

Judging by your wife`s letters to her Internet friends, she is very seriously disposed to divorce you and does not a slightest intention to get back to the States. According to her words, she escaped the States as she would escape a prison where she was haunted with nostalgia and the feeling of helplessness”. And there also were your passes… Judging by her letters, she does not have any special hatred or other negative feelings toward you. She just considers you “a bore” and too suspicious man. But the main reason for the divorce, based on her words, are the desire to escape from you and the States as the factors depriving her of her freedom.

I will not write anything about her possible adulteries and relations with other men - these are your personal relations with her, and I do not feel like going into it in detail.

The legal part of the issue is as follows.

Your wife, having the intention to divorce, can go the following way:

She can apply with a lawsuit for termination of the marriage to Odessa district court where she resides. In such case the court will have to send you a judicial summons and inform of the date of hearing. You have the right to appear before court or authorize a solicitor to represent your interests in court, and declare during the proceedings that you consider it possible to keep your marriage, and think that the controversies between you are temporary. In such case the court can provide the time for you and your wife for possible reconciliation – up to 6 months, during which you might try to make your relations with your wife better. But since your wife is dealing with the lawyer who is alluding to an opportunity to “solve the issue” in the shortest time, they might try to have the case considered without sending you a summons, but by way of summoning you to court by publishing a notice on a local paper (this is allowed by Ukraine`s procedural legislation). In such situation the case will be heard in your absence. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to make regular calls to the district court where she resides and find out if the court is going to hear such case (of you and your wife`s divorce), and if yes, then come and participate. To take such measures, we need to know your wife`s exact domicile and place of registration.

It is about all by now. We will be happy to be of help to you.

Elena Patratiy
Articles and consultations authored by attorney reflect the state of law as of the date of their writing. The laws change daily. Users of this site are advised to consult attorney regarding their situation.
Karina Duvall
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