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Family Law: divorce proceedings, conclusion of marriage (Russia)

I have some general questions I would like to ask and should my marriage situation get any worse than it is at present, I would then wish to discuss hiring you.

First, some brief background:

I am an American citizen and live in the states and she is a Russian citizen living in St. Petersburg. Her K-3 visa is presently in process. We have only been married a couple of months and we were married in St. Petersburg.

My first question is, do both parties have to agree to a divorce or may one or the other force a divorce unilaterally? Can the court be petitioned to require reconciliation? How long would it take? And last and most difficult, can financial support forwarded by me be recovered in a civil lawsuit? Or as has been suggested, in criminal proceedings?

This is all for now and I would like to thank you in advance for your assistance.


In accordance with Russian law, you can divorce without consent of your wife. In this case she has to claim that she doesn't agree and court will give up to three months for reconciliation. If the reconciliation doesn't come, the court will break the marriage.

You cannot begin the divorce proceedings in Russia if your wife has already addressed to Russian or foreign court with divorce suit and the case is being processed at the moment.

Depending of the circumstances, the divorce in Russia can take from 2 to 6 months.

In accordance with Russian law, you cannot be recovered alimony for support of your spouse if she doesn't perform maintenance of common child in age up to 3 and if she doesn't have disability. A criminal proceeding cannot be started against you due to divorce. But it's good idea to receive a consultation about the same questions from an American lawyer from the point of view of American Law.

Articles and consultations authored by attorney reflect the state of law as of the date of their writing. The laws change daily. Users of this site are advised to consult attorney regarding their situation.
Karina Duvall
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