How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask UKfamsol Your Own Question
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
UKfamsol is online now

I am a British citizen I married a lady from Chernovtsy in

This answer was rated:

I am a British citizen I married a lady from Chernovtsy in Ukraine, in her country, and when she came to this country, she left me. How do I obtain marriage certificate or start divorce proceedings. I have no idea of her whereabouts.

Hello and thanks for your question.

I need a bit more information to be able to answer:

When did you get married?
How long did your wife live with you in the UK?
Is she still living in the UK?
What sort of organisation married you in the Ukraine, and do you have the address where you got married? church, embassy, hotel?
Was your marriage considered to be a valid marriage in the Ukraine?
Was it registered as a marriage with any government department in the Ukraine?
Who now has marriage certificate?

Hello again

I see you have looked at my request for more information - but not replied. Please don't worry if you don't know the answers to all my questions - just let me have what information you do have - then I'll do my very best to answer your question.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We got married I believe in 2003 in Chernovtsy.

She stayed with me for about a month in the UK

I don't know of her whereabouts or indeed if she is still in UK

We married in a type of office. I have no idea if it was all official as it was done in her language.

I don't know if marriage was registered but her name is ***** ***** passport and it got her into country. Never saw certificate but she will have it if it exists.

don't have the addresses for anywhere.

Hello again & thanks for the extra info.

Ok I am assuming that the marriage was a valid marriage in the Ukraine & therefore recognised as vaid by the UK as you were able to have her name on your passport. I am not an immigration lawyer but I am guessing that you must have had to prove that you were married to her to be able to do that. Therefore if you have a valid marriage (wherever it took place) you can issue your divorce proceedings in the UK. The court will have jurisdiction to deal with the divorce if you have been living in the UK for at least the 6 months before the date of your petition and your domicile is here (ie this is your home country). As long as you can satisfy these conditions, it won't matter where your wife is now living ie if she left the UK just after she left you.

When a divorce petition is filed at court, the court normally requires a certified copy of the marriage certificate to be filed with the petition. The marriage certificate is proof that the marriage took place. I think you should make every effort to obtain a certified copy - for example, you could write to the town hall in the capital of the region of Chernovtsy to ask if they keep a register of marriages in the region, preferably getting your letter translated into Ukrainian if possible. And/oryou could write to the Ukrainian Embassy in London for help, and to find a Ukrainian interpreter. Here's their website:

Or you could write to a Ukrainain lawyer who speak s English. I have found a list prepared by the Britsh Embassy of lawyers & translators based in Ukraine who speak English:-

I've picked out a few:-

in Kyiv

AGA Partners

11 a, Nauki avenue, 2nd floor

Kyiv 03028

tel: (+38 044) 206 06 75 / 76

fax: (+38 044) 206 06 75

e-mail: [email protected]

International arbitration, family law, litigation, international trade.

Alliance Ratushnyak & Partners

72, Yamska Street

Kyiv 03150

tel: (+380 44) 227 16 81 / 82

Legal specialization in corporate law, family law and inheritance.

B.C. Toms and Co

18/1, Prorizna Street, suite 1
Kyiv 01034
tel: (+38 044) 490 60 00, 278 10 00
fax: (+38 044) 278 65 08
e-mail: [email protected]

Family Law Group

10, Gorkogo street, office 8

Kyiv 01004

tel: (+38 044) 593 16 20

fax: (+38 044) 235 63 42

[email protected]

Company specialises in Family Law, pre-nuptial agreements, marriages, divorces, property separation, alimony, child support payments, visitation rights. Has expertise in arrest, detention, civil matters.

LTD «YurViddil»

39-41, Shota Rustaveli str., office 1604, 1606

10a, Lesy Ukrainky blv., office 66

mob: +38 050 445 40 02

fax: (+38 044) 235 05 66
e-mail: [email protected]

Notarial services, Family Law, Commercial/Business Law, Insurance, Civil Law, Criminal Law, Damages, Estates Taxes, Government relations, Labour Relations, Auto/Accidents.

PROMIRSI” Lawyers Association

5 Pankivska Street,


tel/fax: (+38 044) 288 19 47

mob: +38 050 384 39 71, +38 093 609 01 23

e-mail: [email protected]

Family law, adoption (legal issues consultation), immigration, commercial law, civil law, criminal law, transportation law, foreign claims, estates, taxes, auto/accidents, investments, labour relations, legal support while notarial proceedings, certified translations.

Ukriniurkoleguia (Ukrainian Bar Association for Foreign Affairs)

2-2a, Zolotovoritska street

Kyiv 01030

tel: (+38 044) 234 52 08, 288 03 90 / 91 / 92

fax: (+38 044) 279 28 35, 246 58 00

e-mail: [email protected], [email protected],

Disputes & litigation (domestic & foreign), Family law & adoption, Estate (inheritance) law, Immigration law, Intellectual property, Real estate, Accounting & tax law, Commercial law, International arbitration, Corporate law, Foreign investments.


Konnov & Sozanovsky

13-a, Komarova street, suite 204

Chernivtsi 58017

tel: (+38 0372) 24 57 29

fax: (+38 0372) 24 87 00

e-mail: [email protected]

List of translators in Kyiv +38 044


36 b Khmelnytskogo str, office 38

tel 332 32 65

e-mail: [email protected]

Written, consecutive and simultaneous translation, notarial certification.


23/35 Patrisa Lumumby str, office 13

tel 239 10 91 / 92 / 21

e-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

Written, consecutive and simultaneous translation, notarial certification.


4a Rognedinskaya str., 4th floor, of. 409

tel 360 83 23

mob +38 067 837 22 79
e-mail: [email protected]

Written, consecutive translation,notarial certification.

If you CAN get a certified copy of the marriage certificate, get it. You will then need to get a certified translation prepared. Both the marriage certificate AND the translation will need to be sent to court with your divorce petition.

If after making every effort, you cannot get a certified copy of the marriage certificate, then you will need another way to prove that the marriage took place. This will be by an affidavit setting out whatever you can remember of the marriage, both of your full names, who witnessed the marriage, what you can remember about where it took place, photographs of the wedding, receipt for the honeymoon, newpaper articles, and your passport which records that this woman was your wife. A solicitor will help you draft the affidavit.

Next hurdle - you either need an address for your wife to go on the divorce petition (as she must be served with the petition by the court sending it to her) or you need to conivnce the court that you have made every effort to find her address without success - in which case you can apply for service to be dispensed with.

To trace your wife's current address, you can use an enquiry agent. I use Stephensons Investigations who have contacts all over the world. Here's their website:-

You can base your divorce on the fact that you have been separated for 5 years.

Once you get your decree absolute, you will be free to remarry - but if that's what you have in mind, please don't fix the date until you have your decree absolute because even a divorce with no difficulties takes about 6 months, and I suspect that yours will take longer becausae of all the issues I have set out.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

UKfamsol and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you