Concept and history
Concubinage is a joint residence of a man and a woman without registration of a marriage. Often one can hear another name, more used – “actual marriage”. The origin of such a concept exists since the beginnings of the birth of the Roman Empire, but it still exists nowadays. One should admit, in Ancient Rome the concubinage had a completely different character, it did not give rise to any legal consequences, rights and obligations. Children born in the concubinage neither obtained the status of those born in marriage, nor had the right to maintenance, did not acquire the status and name of their father and were not subject to parental authority.
Currently, quite a few young couples do not want to constrain the scope of marriage itself, especially to visit various government agencies in a department of civil registration and to apply, produce a variety of documents expected results for months. Abroad, it is a common practice that these families can be found almost everywhere.
Legal regulation and consequences of concubinage
To begin with, oneneeds to determine what a “family” is. Part 2 of Article 3 of the Family Code of Ukraine states that the family consists of persons living together, connected with common life, having mutual rights and obligations. Part 4 of the same article states that the family is created on the basis of marriage, blood relatives, adoption, as well as on other grounds not prohibited by law and that do not contradict the moral principles of society. Here it should be noted that not only spouses (men and women who registered marriage) are related to the concept of “family”. The European Court of Human Rights has observed that de facto relationships, as well as marriage-based relationships, can be considered as family life and, therefore, have the right to protection, despite the fact that their connection exists outside of marriage.
Often, many couples mistakenly believe, their joint residence without registration of a marriage will not serve as the basis for the certain rights, responsibilities, consequences and will not have any legal regulation within the territory of Ukraine. Fortunately or unfortunately, it isn’t so. Domestic legislation provides the rules regulating such relations. Actually, the legislative regulation of the concubinage is relatively a new institute, since before January 1, 2004 the joint residence of a man and a woman did not create legal consequences for property. For example, Article 74 of the Family Code of Ukraine contains a formulation “the right to property of a woman and a man living with one family, but not married to each other or in any other marriage”, which indicates to us that it is not necessary to live a joint family in a legally registered marriage in order to have the right to property of a wife / husband. However, this rule has a number of features, namely:

  1. Accommodation of a man and woman as one family (that is, a couple must necessarily live together, for example, in a common apartment);
  2. The husband and wife did not register the marriage;
  3. There exists a right to property of a man / woman;
  4. This property should be acquired by a man and woman during their cohabitation and joint work (ie, it is equivalent to joint matrimonial property, which is provided for in Section 8 of the Family Code of Ukraine);
  5. Time of cohabitation;
  6. However, the right to property woman / man who are not living in a registered marriage will not occur, if it is pre-specified in the contract (ie marriage contract).

Judicial practice concerning disputes between the joint residence of a man and a woman as one family without registration of a marriage is rather ambiguous. First and foremost, the fact of living together with a husband and wife must be proved in court, unlike spouses who do  not need to prove it in court, sincethere is a documentary evidence – a marriage certificate. The evidence can be represented by witnesses’ testimony (as a rule, they are neighbors who can testify to the fact that men and women are living together in the apartment / house), as well as bank account opening agreements, fiscal checks, even shared photos.
When establishing the fact of joint residence of a man and a woman, the court takes into account three main characteristics:
– living together;
– common household;
– a shared budget.
Moreover, an obligation of financial maintenance of a child arises as well. Parents are obliged to support their child financially even if they aren’t officially married, but are mentioned in the child’s birth certificate.]]>

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A new law on virtual assets: the picture is formed, but without details. On September 8, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada has finally adopted the long-awaited law "On Virtual Assets", which clarified many ambiguous points. This is especially true for the status of cryptocurrency and the rules of its circulation in the country. Let`s take a closer look at novelties. An ambiguous term Let's start with what the legislator actually means by "virtual assets". There are the following features:  they are an intangible good (cannot be represented on tangible media)  fall under the list of objects of civil rights (that is, they can be owned and be disposed of)  represent an electronic form of a set of data (essentially, they are blocks of information put in order);  the existence and circulation of assets are due to software tools (specific electronic environment). From these features we can draw the following conclusion: virtual assets are not limited to cryptocurrency. Digital currency is part of the concept, but other instruments, such as tokens, NFTs, or even in-game items, fall under the definition. Actually, the actual existence of most digital products, having a certain value, is due to the software environment (ecosystem), either it is blockchain technology, a trading platform, or an online game server. It should be noted that the attempt to define virtual assets was already made in the adopted Law of Ukraine in counteracting money laundering. In this act, they understand it as digital means of payment, which goes against the new definition. As a result, there are now two different explanations for virtual assets, which causes significant confusion not only in regulation but also in interpretation. It is definitely necessary to expect clarifications from competent state bodies. Let's return to the new law. Its application covers legal relations in which the "Ukrainian element" is present:  provider or recipient of services represented in Ukraine;  an agreement according to which the turnover of virtual assets is carried out in accordance with Ukrainian legislation;  the acquirer of assets (or both counterparties) is a resident(s) of Ukraine. The law also introduces an interesting division of all virtual assets into two groups: secured and unsecured. Here again, there is a problem of interpretation. The first category includes products exchanged for (state) currency, the second category includes instruments that can be exchanged only for other digital assets. There is an alternative opinion: that the turnover of secured assets is supported by real goods (money or other property), while unsecured ones are not supported by anything. The latter interpretation is the most credible, as the new law stipulates that virtual assets are NOT means of payment. Moreover, they cannot be exchanged for real goods, be they property, services or money. This significantly narrows the potential for the use of virtual assets not only for commercial but also for civilian purposes. About obligatory licensing The new law states that in some cases, the use of virtual assets will require licensing. The 4 types of activity are mentioned:  storage and management of virtual assets (or its` keys)  servicing of exchange operations with virtual assets (both for other analogues and for real goods);  translation of digital assets;  any intermediary services. A list is quite impressive, but there are some important exclusions:  if your service works with cryptocurrency wallet (it means users can dispose of accumulations into cryptocurrency independently);  If your service works on smart contracts or decentralized protocol, based on which internal transfers are performed. As to intermediary services, everything is more compicated. Actually, any mediation is based on the public share offering. That is why it is subject to licensing. How to get a license? A company that wishes on legal grounds to engage in virtual assets must satisfy legislative requirements. The key role is played by the minimum amount of the statutory capital, which equals 1,19 million hryvnyas (for non-residents it is 5,95 million hryvnyas) in case of storage and administration. For other types of activity (trading, translation and mediation services) the minimum size of the statutory capital amounts to 595 thousand hryvnyas (for non-residents is 2,98 million hryvnyas). The order of the registration of license:  to compose an application and prepare documents.  to pay state fee (68-136 thousand hryvnyas for residents and 340-680 thousand hryvnyas is for non-residents).  to pend review of the request (30 days).  to get a license. The duration of the license is 1 year. No norms about the continuation of legal force of permission are set (we are expecting amendments or explanations from the Ministry of Digital transformation of Ukraine). Notably that non-residents must pay a far greater sum, than domestic companies. The Ukrainian legislator obviously encourages an internal market, getting rid of a strong foreign presence (that, in fact, coincide with modern politics of the state on the whole). Together with an application, the following documents must be prepared: The access code to the copy of the Statute of the company (or the foundation agreement) kept in an electronic file in the database of the Unified State Register of Enterprises and Organizations (USREO);  Funding sources of the statutory capital (where the money are taken from);  confirmation of the actual injection of money;  information about beneficiaries (special attention must be paid to business reputation);  the information about the director and founders;  the check about payment of state fee;  the internal regulations, in accordance with which ones, the privacy policy rules are regulated. In the terms of volume of necessary documentation of licensing is very alike with complete registration of legal entity. It is understood that the state wants the severe adjusting of activity of organizations that will engage in virtual assets. Is it already possible to get a license? The adoption of the law by the parliament is a significant step forward in adjusting and legal market of virtual assets creation in Ukraine. However, the new rules haven`t come into effect yet - their term of introduction depends on making amendments in the Internal Revenue Code. It is yet unknown, when a legislator will decide to enter the renewed system of taxation for such assets. Being "IT-hub" and territory, where cryptocurrency enjoys large popularity, the question of taxes must be decided maximally safely. Despite the presence of obvious gaps in interpretation, a new law on virtual assets gives the official narrative of what takes place and that, how the legal relationships related to cryptocurrency will be regulated. It is to be hoped that in the nearest time the Ministry of digital information will give out the detailed explanations concerning debatable norms.

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