Registration of Marriage under Martial Law : General and Simplified Procedure 

September, 2022 - Talina Kravtsova

According to official statistics, almost 104,000 couples got married in Ukraine during the first half of such a difficult year of 2022. It is interesting that during the same period of 2021, a little less than 86 thousand couples exchanged marriage vows. Such indicators indicate that the full-scale war did not prevent those who have a desire to create new families.

At the legislative level, quite significant changes have been established, which facilitate the procedure of concluding a marriage under martial law. I propose to consider the procedure for state registration of marriage in force now.  

General procedure for marriage registration

A couple that has decided to officially register their marriage has the right to apply to any department of state registration of civil status acts (DRATSS), regardless of the place of registration or residence of the newlyweds. In the DRATS department, future spouses will need to sign a marriage registration application and show their passports. If both or one of the spouses were previously married, it is also necessary to provide documents that confirm the dissolution or termination of the previous marriage: a certificate of dissolution of marriage, a court decision on dissolution of marriage or on the recognition of marriage as invalid with a note that the decision has entered into legal force, a death certificate one of the spouses, etc.

Let me remind you that the law obliges the bride and groom to wait a month from the moment of submitting the application to the DRATS and only after the end of this period it is allowed to register the marriage. However, during the period of martial law, marriage registration can be carried out on the day of submission of the relevant application or on another day chosen by the bride and groom. This rule does not apply in cases where one of the bridegrooms is a foreigner. According to the current legislation, the State Migration Service of Ukraine will not be able to register a marriage until the State Migration Service of Ukraine checks the legality of the reasons for the foreigner's stay in the territory of Ukraine. As a rule, such an inspection lasts up to 30 days. Immediately after its successful completion, the marriage can be registered.  

Who can get married remotely?

It is clear that in the conditions of a full-scale war, it is not always possible to appear at the DRATSS department to submit an application and carry out official marriage registration. This especially applies to military personnel, law enforcement officers, doctors and other categories of persons who cannot be separated from the performance of military or professional duty. There is a special marriage registration procedure for such persons. Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 213 "On some issues of state registration of marriage under martial law" defines the list of citizens who can register a marriage under a special procedure. It is valid until the day of termination or cancellation of martial law.

The above-mentioned resolution provides for the possibility of state registration of a marriage in the DRATS without the personal presence of one of the bridegrooms, who is a military serviceman, police officer, or employee of a health care facility. According to the simplified procedure, one of the bride and groom, who cannot be present during the marriage registration, submits an application to his immediate commander (supervisor), who must certify the authenticity of the signature on the application and forward it to the DRATS department. After receiving the application, the DRATS department will register the marriage without the personal presence of one of the spouses, who can connect via video link.

Marriage registration outside the DRATS

There is also a different procedure for marriage registration, which does not provide for brides and grooms to apply to the DRATS. According to this procedure, the fact of marriage registration can be certified by a certificate of marriage, drawn up directly by the commander/manager at the place of service/work of the bride and groom.

If one of the bridegrooms is a military serviceman or a police officer, then the corresponding act can be drawn up without the personal presence of one or both bridegrooms using available means of video communication with the bridegroom who is absent.

The fact of registration of the marriage of medical workers can also be certified by an act drawn up by the head of the health care institution where one or both of the bride and groom reside or work.

After drawing up the deed, its original copy is sent to the Department of the State Civil Registry Office or to the territorial body of the Ministry of Justice for drawing up the deed record of marriage in paper form and entering information into the state register. In the future, by applying to the DRATSS department, the spouses will be able to obtain a standard certificate of state registration of their marriage.

Marriage registration at the embassy or consulate

Both in peacetime and in times of war, Ukrainians legally living abroad have the opportunity to register their marriage at the embassy or consulate. A woman and a man, who are abroad and wish to register their marriage, submit a written application to the diplomatic mission or consular institution of Ukraine in the country of their stay. In this case, there is no need to return to the Motherland for marriage registration, registration can be carried out at the embassy or consulate.

Summarizing what has been said, it is worth noting that in the conditions of martial law, the procedure for concluding a marriage has been greatly simplified. Despite the fact that today it is possible to get married much faster, I would like to believe that couples decide to create a family in a balanced way, and approach marriage seriously. In the next article, I will talk about the peculiarities of the birth registration procedure under martial law, including how Ukrainians can register the birth of babies abroad.



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