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Establishing the fact of paternity

Specializes in family law and inheritance matters

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Today, more and more citizens of Ukraine do not get married officially, but live together in a “civil marriage”. They have children and buy real estate and a vehicle, but all this does not encourage them to get married.

In addition, in connection with active hostilities, cases began to occur more often in practice when a man went to the front to defend the Motherland but unfortunately died. In this case, the question arises, how to recognize the paternity of children who were born outside of an official marriage? This shows the relevance of consideration of this topic.

Therefore, in this article, we will consider how it is possible to establish the fact of paternity, taking into account the provisions of the regulatory legal acts of Ukraine.

How to establish the fact of paternity in Ukraine?

The SCU notes that in a situation where the husband died and was not officially married to the child’s mother, the fact of his paternity can be established only in one case – by a decision of the judicial authorities (Article 130).

Also, the SCU notes that, if necessary, the court can establish a citizen who should be considered the child’s mother (Article 132).

What is the difference between establishing the fact of paternity and recognizing paternity?

  • First of all, there is no dispute among citizens about who is the real father of the child;
  • Death of the father of the child whose paternity is to be established or declared dead;
  • Different procedural orders according to which a court case is considered.

What is the procedure?

In order to establish the fact of paternity in the event of the death of a husband, a person submits an application to the court, which will consider the case and establish such a fact.

It is necessary to apply to the local court of first instance, which is endowed with the relevant powers to consider such cases, based on the applicant’s place of residence or actual stay (Article 315 of the Civil Procedure Code). Consideration of the specified category of cases is conducted within the framework of a separate proceeding.

Importantly! The local court can accept the application to establish the above-mentioned fact only when the entry about the child’s father in the Birth Registration Book was made according to the surname and citizenship of the mother, and the first name of the child’s father was recorded on her instructions.

Who has the legal right to file such an application?

  • The child’s natural mother;
  • The guardian or custodian of the child, who was appointed in accordance with legal norms;
  • A citizen who directly fully supports the child and is engaged in its upbringing;
  • The child himself, if he has reached the age of 18 (adulthood);
  • A citizen who has reason to consider himself the biological father of a child.

What is the evidence base?

It is clear from the SCU that the subject of proof in cases of establishing the fact of paternity is the biological origin of the child from the citizen.

Evidence in this category of cases should be considered any information from which it can be established that a certain person is the father of the child.

In addition, usually, local courts practice also include the following as evidence:

  • Written or oral testimony and explanations of witnesses who can clearly state that the father of the child is a certain deceased citizen;
  • Written documentation from the RAC, which shows the circumstances that make it impossible to restore the lost records of civil status acts or to make appropriate corrections to them;
  • Written documentation from which the indisputable existence of this legal fact can be seen can be e-mails, messages from various social messengers, photos showing the family relationship of the applicant and the deceased, acts of state authorities, as well as court decisions, etc.

It is worth noting that the above-mentioned list of the evidence base in the category of cases on establishing the fact of paternity is not complete, as it may change and increase due to the specific circumstances of each case.

And this, in turn, indicates the absence of a clear list of evidence in the legislative acts of Ukraine regarding this category of cases, because currently, the most popular method of establishing paternity is conducting an examination, which can tell with a probability of up to 99.9% whether a citizen is the father of a child or not.

If you need to establish the fact of paternity in a court of law, be sure to contact proven legal specialists – the Prikhodko and Partners law firm.

Our team has many years of experience in legal support of this category of cases and therefore understands all the nuances that may arise in practice. Contact us for help, because we guarantee the result!

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