Law of Ukraine

“On Ratification of the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance”

Date of entry into force:
February 25, 2013

The Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (hereinafter referred to as “Convention”) was concluded on November 23, 2007 in Hague.

The Law ratifies the Convention.

According to the Law, Ukraine reserves the right to apply the Convention to maintenance obligations arising from a parent-child relationship towards a person under the age of 18 years. According to the Law, Ukraine declares that it shall expand the scope of Chapter V “Recognition and Enforcement” and Chapter VIII “General Provisions” of the Convention to recovery of maintenance:
  • from parents, for an adult disabled child;
  • from parents, for a child son that continue their education, up to the age of 23;
  • from an adult child, for disabled parents;
  • from a grandmother or grandfather, for underage grandchildren;
  • from adult grandchildren or great-grandchildren, for disabled grandparents or great-grandparents;
  • from adult siblings, for underage siblings or adult disabled siblings;
  • from stepparents, for underage stepchildren;
  • from adult stepchildren, for disabled stepparents.
Ukraine declares that it shall apply the procedure provided for by Article 24 of the Convention in processing an application for recognition and enforcement.

According to Article 1 of the Convention, its object is to ensure the effective international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance, in particular by:
  • establishing a comprehensive system of co-operation between the authorities of the Contracting States;
  • making available applications for the establishment of maintenance decisions;
  • providing for the recognition and enforcement of maintenance decisions; and
  • requiring effective measures for the prompt enforcement of maintenance decisions.
The Convention shall apply:
  • to maintenance obligations arising from a parent-child relationship towards a person under the age of 21 years;
  • to recognition and enforcement or enforcement of a decision for spousal support when the application is made with a claim within the scope of sub-paragraph a); and
  • to spousal support.

Article 3 of the Convention provides definitions of terms used in it.

A Contracting State shall designate a Central Authority to discharge the duties that are imposed by the Convention on such an authority. Federal States, States with more than one system of law or States having autonomous territorial units shall be free to appoint more than one Central Authority and shall specify the territorial or personal extent of their functions. Where a State has appointed more than one Central Authority, it shall designate the Central Authority to which any communication may be addressed for transmission to the appropriate Central Authority within that State (Article 4 of the Convention). According to the Law, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine shall ensure execution of the duties imposed by the Convention on the Central Authority.

The general and specific functions of the Central Authorities are determined by Articles 5 and 6 of the Convention.

An application under Chapter III of the Convention shall be made through the Central Authority of the Contracting State in which the applicant resides to the Central Authority of the requested State. For the purpose of this provision, residence excludes mere presence (Article 9 of the Convention). According to Article 10 of the Convention, The following categories of application shall be available to a creditor in a requesting State seeking to recover maintenance under this Convention:
  • recognition or recognition and enforcement of a decision;
  • enforcement of a decision made or recognised in the requested State;
  • establishment of a decision in the requested State where there is no existing decision, including where necessary the establishment of parentage;
  • establishment of a decision in the requested State where recognition and enforcement of a decision is not possible, or is refused, because of the lack of a basis for recognition and enforcement, or on the grounds specified in Article 22 b) or e) of the Convention (recognition and enforcement of a decision may be refused if the decision was obtained by fraud in connection with a matter of procedure, or in a case where the respondent has neither appeared nor was represented in proceedings in the State of origin);
  • modification of a decision made in the requested State;
  • modification of a decision made in a State other than the requested State.
The following categories of application shall be available to a debtor in a requesting State against whom there is an existing maintenance decision:
  • recognition of a decision, or an equivalent procedure leading to the suspension, or limiting the enforcement, of a previous decision in the requested State;
  • modification of a decision made in the requested State;
  • modification of a decision made in a State other than the requested State.

The application contents are determined in Article 11 of the Convention.

The procedure for transmission, receipt and processing of applications and cases through Central Authorities is determined in Article 12 of the Convention.

The requested State shall provide applicants with effective access to procedures, including enforcement and appeal procedures, arising from applications under Chapter III of the Convention. To provide such effective access, the requested State shall provide free legal assistance in accordance with Articles 14 to 17 of the Convention. The requested State shall not be obliged to provide such free legal assistance if and to the extent that the procedures of that State enable the applicant to make the case without the need for such assistance, and the Central Authority provides such services as are necessary free of charge. Entitlements to free legal assistance shall not be less than those available in equivalent domestic cases. No security, bond or deposit, however described, shall be required to guarantee the payment of costs and expenses in proceedings under the Convention.

Restrictions on bringing proceedings are established by Article 18 of the Convention.

Chapter V of the Convention shall apply to a decision rendered by a judicial or administrative authority in respect of a maintenance obligation. The term “decision” also includes a settlement or agreement concluded before or approved by such an authority. A decision may include automatic adjustment by indexation and a requirement to pay arrears, retroactive maintenance or interest and a determination of costs or expenses. According to Article 20 of the Convention, A decision made in one Contracting State (“the State of origin”) shall be recognized and enforced in other Contracting States if:
  • the respondent was habitually resident in the State of origin at the time proceedings were instituted;
  • the respondent has submitted to the jurisdiction either expressly or by defending on the merits of the case without objecting to the jurisdiction at the first available opportunity;
  • the creditor was habitually resident in the State of origin at the time proceedings were instituted;
  • the child for whom maintenance was ordered was habitually resident in the State of origin at the time proceedings were instituted, provided that the respondent has lived with the child in that State or has resided in that State and provided support for the child there;
  • except in disputes relating to maintenance obligations in respect of children, there has been agreement to the jurisdiction in writing by the parties; or
  • the decision was made by an authority exercising jurisdiction on a matter of personal status or parental responsibility, unless that jurisdiction was based solely on the nationality of one of the parties.

If the State addressed is unable to recognize or enforce the whole of the decision, it shall recognize or enforce any severable part of the decision which can be so recognized or enforced.
Partial recognition or enforcement of a decision can always be applied for (Article 21 of the Convention). According to Article 22 of the Convention, Recognition and enforcement of a decision may be refused if:
  • recognition and enforcement of the decision is manifestly incompatible with the public policy (“ordre public”) of the State addressed;
  • the decision was obtained by fraud in connection with a matter of procedure;
  • proceedings between the same parties and having the same purpose are pending before an authority of the State addressed and those proceedings were the first to be instituted;
  • the decision is incompatible with a decision rendered between the same parties and having the same purpose, either in the State addressed or in another State, provided that this latter decision fulfils the conditions necessary for its recognition and enforcement in the State addressed;
  • in a case where the respondent has neither appeared nor was represented in proceedings in the State of origin: 1) when the law of the State of origin provides for notice of proceedings, the respondent did not have proper notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard; or 2) when the law of the State of origin does not provide for notice of the proceedings, the respondent did not have proper notice of the decision and an opportunity to challenge or appeal it on fact and law; or 3) the decision was made in violation of Article 18 of the Convention.

Procedure on an application for recognition and enforcement is established by Article 23 of the Convention.

Article 24 of the Convention establishes the alternative procedure on an application for recognition and enforcement.

According to Article 25 of the Convention, An application for recognition and enforcement under Article 23 or Article 24 shall be accompanied by the following:
  • a complete text of the decision;
  • a document stating that the decision is enforceable in the State of origin and, in the case of a decision by an administrative authority, a document stating that the requirements of Article 19(3) of the Convention are met unless that State has specified that decisions of its administrative authorities always meet those requirements;
  • if the respondent did not appear and was not represented in the proceedings in the State of origin, a document or documents attesting, as appropriate, either that the respondent had proper notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard, or that the respondent had proper notice of the decision and the opportunity to challenge or appeal it on fact and law;
  • where necessary, a document showing the amount of any arrears and the date such amount was calculated;
  • where necessary, in the case of a decision providing for automatic adjustment by indexation, a document providing the information necessary to make the appropriate calculations;
  • where necessary, documentation showing the extent to which the applicant received free legal assistance in the State of origin.
According to the Law, Ukraine notes that an application for recognition and enforcement shall be accompanied by a copy of the complete text of the decision, certified by the competent authority in the State of origin.

There shall be no review by any competent authority of the State addressed of the merits of a decision (Article 28 of the Contention).

According to Article 29 of the Convention, the physical presence of the child or the applicant shall not be required in any proceedings in the State addressed under this Chapter.

Article 30 of the Convention envisages that a maintenance arrangement made in a Contracting State shall be entitled to recognition and enforcement as a decision under this Chapter provided that it is enforceable as a decision in the State of origin. An application for recognition and enforcement of a maintenance arrangement shall be accompanied by the following:
  • a complete text of the maintenance arrangement; and
  • a document stating that the particular maintenance arrangement is enforceable as a decision in the State of origin.
Recognition and enforcement of a maintenance arrangement may be refused if:
  • the recognition and enforcement is manifestly incompatible with the public policy of the State addressed;
  • the maintenance arrangement was obtained by fraud or falsification;
  • the maintenance arrangement is incompatible with a decision rendered between the same parties and having the same purpose, either in the State addressed or in another State, provided that this latter decision fulfils the conditions necessary for its recognition and enforcement in the State addressed.
Proceedings for recognition and enforcement of a maintenance arrangement shall be suspended if a challenge concerning the arrangement is pending before a competent authority of a Contracting State. The Law establishes that Ukraine reserves the right to refuse to recognize and enforce maintenance agreements.

The procedure for enforcement by the State addressed is established by Chapter VI of the Convention. Enforcement shall take place in accordance with the law of the State addressed. Enforcement shall be prompt. In the case of applications through Central Authorities, where a decision has been declared enforceable or registered for enforcement under Chapter V of the Convention, enforcement shall proceed without the need for further action by the applicant. Effect shall be given to any rules applicable in the State of origin of the decision relating to the duration of the maintenance obligation. Any limitation on the period for which arrears may be enforced shall be determined either by the law of the State of origin of the decision or by the law of the State addressed, whichever provides for the longer limitation period (Article 32 of the Convention).

According to Article 34 of the Convention, Contracting States shall make available in internal law effective measures to enforce decisions under the Convention. Such measures may include:
  • wage withholding;
  • garnishment from bank accounts and other sources;
  • deductions from social security payments;
  • lien on or forced sale of property;
  • tax refund withholding;
  • withholding or attachment of pension benefits;
  • credit bureau reporting;
  • denial, suspension or revocation of various licenses (for example, driving licenses);
  • the use of mediation, conciliation or similar processes to bring about voluntary compliance.

The procedure for applying the Convention provisions is determined by Chapter VIII of the Convention.

The Law aims to create a universal mechanism allowing to ensure cooperation between states in the sphere of recognizing and enforcing decisions to recover child support and support for other family members.
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