Determination of the child’s place of residence


    The Family Code provides for the right of parents, both in marriage and after its dissolution, to determine which of them the child will live with.

    It is important to note that the child is also given the right to choose with which parent he wishes to live with. He has this opportunity at the age of 14. But the Family Code also defines that the place of residence of a child who has reached the age of 10 years is determined by the general consent of the parents, taking into account the opinion of the child, while the place of residence of a child who has not reached the age of 10 years is determined only by the consent of the parents.

    As a rule, parents agree orally on the place of residence of the child. This agreement can be approved by signing a notarized agreement. This way of resolving a conflict situation can be effective only if there is trust between parents and the will of both to comply with the terms of the contract. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time and money that will later result in litigation.

    According to article 161 of the Family Code of Ukraine, if the mother and father who live separately have not reached agreement on which of them the young child will live with, the dispute between them may be decided by the guardianship and guardianship authority or the court. This article points to an alternative, not a sequence of actions. This means that it is not necessary to apply to tutorship and guardianship agency before you apply to the court.

    When resolving a dispute on the place of residence of a young child, the attitude of parents to the performance of their parental duties, the child’s personal attachment to each of them, the age of the child, his or her state of health and other circumstances of significant importance are taken into account.

    It is very important that tutorship and guardianship agency or the court cannot transfer the child to live with those parents who do not have an independent income, abuse alcohol or narcotic drugs or their immoral behaviour can harm the development of the child.

    If the guardianship authority or the court has recognized that no parent can provide the child with adequate conditions for upbringing and development, at the request of the grandparents or other relatives involved in the case, the child may be handed over to one of them.

    If the child cannot be handed over to any of these persons, the court may, at the request of the guardianship authority, decide to remove the child from the person with whom he or she lives and to place him or her in the care of the guardianship authority.