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Family Law: termination of parental rights, rights of the child, child support. (Russia)

I am a American citizen and my wife is a Russian citizen, we were married 1.5 years ago and we live in United States, she and her son from her first marriage have a residency permit in USA. Recently she secured through the Russian courts the relinquishment of any parental rights by her first husband (Russian) to her son. The next step we wanted to take was to effect the change of her surname to be the same as mine and also to achieve the same for her son by virtue of her name change, assuming that Russia recognizes the US marriage certificate? What is the position with this and how to achieve it? There is another complication, her ex-husband somehow managed to remove their registration in Russia, how does this effect things and what needs to be done.


I have analyzed the documents, received from you and the decision of the court, clarifying everything, which was not clear before. By the decision of district court of Moscow, dated 2008, your wife and your son were taken off the registration books at the place of residence as the result of the claim, received from your wife’s ex-mother-in-law, who is evidently the owner of the apartment in Moscow. First of all, what is necessary to do in this situation is to get the court decision from district court.

After you receive the decision of the court, your wife and your son can complete taking off the registration books. After getting the certificates of departure (documents, confirming the fact of taking off the registration books in the Passport office of their latest registration place in Moscow), the stamp about departure will be put in your wife’s passport.

When your wife and child get certificates of departure, they can easily get registered at the Russian consulate in USA. Residence in United States and absence of a residence in Russia will serve as the basis for registration at the Russian consulate in USA. Internet does contain enough information about Russian Consulate in USA, the rules of registration in Russian Consulates abroad are the same in all countries, because the Russian Consulates in all countries report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

After you wife and your son register in the Russian Consulate in USA, they will be able to submit to the Consul official application with the request to change the name. Consulates abroad serve as Civil Registry Offices in Russia, and they have to make all the actions and formalities to solve your situation. But this should happen only after the registration at the Consulate in completed.

You can choose another option. Without showing the information about taking off the registration books you can submit to the Civil Registry Offices of Moscow application with the request to change the name. However, when you apply to Civil Registry Offices, you have to show them the decision of court, confirming deprivation of parental rights, from which it is vivid, that the registration at the place of residence was cancelled. This can be a reason for refusal.

If you have additional questions or you require practical help in respect of getting certificates of departure or in representation of the interests of your family in the Russian consulate I will be happy to give you my assistance.

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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