Equality of men and women rights which is written in the Constitution of Ukraine and other normative documents is often neglected while discussing the place of child’s residence – almost always in favor of women. There are some exceptions to the rule.
Mykola Shvygun*, contract soldier, who serves in the East of Kharkiv region, came to Community Law Center of Chuhuev human rights group. He told that he was married and had a daughter born in 2006. However, his wife is not interested in her child and stopped giving financial aid. Mykola said:
- When my daughter is with me, she is more comfortable and gets love and support. I have always been a good father, in a good health, do not drink or do drugs, have work and stable income.
Mother does not provide for food and medical care, which influences her daughter in a bad way. She does not talk to a child much. Woman does not want to fulfill her parental obligations.
Father decided to divorce her and to live together with his daughter. He also decided to go to court in order to demand alimony from her mother.
When lawyers told Mykola that court practice in Ukraine shows that men often lose in such cases, he said:
- I am ready for legal struggle. I was not afraid of armed separatists in Donbas, I am not afraid to fight for my daughter as well!
Center’s lawyer Roman Lykhachov helped him to file a claim to the court. He also helped Mykola to obtain the conclusions of care service to prove the necessity of child’s place of residence together with his father. It is mentioned that mother does not fulfill her obligations, does not live with her child and does not help financially.
Mother did not even come to court. She agreed to the demands and asked to review a case without her presence.
Court ruled that marriage will be against interests of each spouse and their child. Judges took into consideration the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: every decision should correspond to child’s interests.
Court ruled that mother should pay alimony for child’s care – 1\4 of all her incomes monthly until the child is of a full age, and that the child should live together with the father.
*Name is changed due to the ethical reasons.
The project “Free legal aid to ATO participants and their families” is implemented by five Community Law Centers from Kovel, Kherson, Bila Tserkva, Chernihiv, Chuhuev. The project is funded by International Renaissance Foundation, “Human rights and justice” programme initiative. Media support to the project is provided by IRC “Legal Space”.
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