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Establishing the fact of paternity after death

Family law lawyer. Specializes in divorce and probate matters

Contact now

It often happens in life that a man and a woman are not in an officially registered marriage, but they have a joint child. In such a situation, the man will be considered the father of the child?

Definitely yes, but on the condition that a man and a woman jointly submit an application to the RACS bodies for recognition of paternity.

However, such a situation may occur when the husband dies suddenly and does not have time to admit that he is the father of the child. A completely logical question arises, what to do in this case?

In this article, we will provide an answer to this question and consider how to establish the fact of paternity after the death of the husband in accordance with the legal provisions of Ukrainian legislation.

Who establishes the fact of paternity after the death of the husband?

The Family Code of Ukraine stipulates that the establishment of the fact of paternity after the death of the husband takes place only by the decision of the judicial authorities.

Thus, a person needs to go to court and argue why he needs to establish such a fact.

Which court should I apply to?

The Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine stipulates that consideration of facts that have legal significance for the applicant is carried out by local courts of the 1st instance within the framework of separate proceedings.

Why separate proceedings? Because the establishment of such a fact excludes the possibility of a dispute. But if someone objects to the establishment of such a fact (paternity), then the matter will already be considered within the framework of legal proceedings.

Importantly! If you are outside of Ukraine and you need to establish a fact that has legal significance, you should apply to the Supreme Court of Ukraine, because only it has the authority to determine jurisdiction over your case in the relevant decision.

Who has the right to apply?

In most cases, the main initiator of the application is the child’s mother.

However, the legislation specifies that the following may also apply to the establishment of paternity:

  • persons who are official custodians and guardians of the child;
  • the person who directly brings up the child and fully supports it;
  • the child himself, if he has reached the age of majority (18 years);
  • a person who may have reason to believe that he is the natural father of the child.

It is worth noting that one of the main criteria for applying to a judicial body is that the entry about the child’s father in the Birth Registration Book must be made from the words of the child’s mother. If this is not implemented, the court will refuse to accept the application for consideration (legal position of the Supreme Administrative Court in the resolution dated July 7, 2021, case No. 336/1357/16-ts).

Is there a statute of limitations for this category of cases?

According to the general rule established in the Civil Code of Ukraine, the statute of limitations is 3 years. There is also a special statute of limitations, where the term for the protection of violated rights is 1 year.

However, for this category of cases, the statute of limitations is not established by Ukrainian legislation, which states that its term is unlimited. Therefore, you can properly prepare for submitting a reasoned statement to the court, as well as collect all the necessary evidence on the case.

What evidence should be submitted?

Together with the application, the citizen should submit the most convincing evidence confirming her family connection between the deceased and the child.

Such evidence can be:

  • Written statements or explanations of witnesses. For example, your acquaintances, relatives, or friends can confirm the existence of a family connection between the applicant and the deceased through a story about the relationship of the persons, the intentions of having a child, the husband’s caring attitude towards the born child, etc.;
  • Documents and tangible evidence. For example, a certificate about the composition of the family, personal correspondence, joint photos and videos with the deceased;
  • Conclusions of the examination. For example, some citizens manage to conduct a genetic examination during the life of a man and confirm the fact that he is really the biological father of the child. It also sometimes happens that such an examination is carried out already after the death of the husband. Therefore, in this situation, attach it to the application.

You lived together with your husband and gave birth to a child, but he suddenly died? In such a situation, to establish the fact of paternity, you should contact reliable lawyers – the Prikhodko and Partners law firm.

Our team will help you collect the necessary evidence in the case, write a legally competent statement to the court, and advise you on related issues that will arise in the process of cooperation.

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1 question

Were you in a registered marriage?


2 question

Has birth registration already taken place?


3 question

Have you addressed this issue to the departments of DRATSS?

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