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

Dear Karina Krasnova,

It was a pleasure reading your informative site.

Coming to the point. I intend to marry a Russian woman who has been divorced 11 years ago. She is present is pregnant with our baby.

She has two children of previous marriage. Her ex-husband is a drug addict and had defaulted all alimony payments for the last 11 years. She has a son aged 14 and a daughter aged 12 years.

She is expecting our baby in the first week of October. She has custody of her two children of the previous marriage and we wish to bring them to Turkey. Her ex-husband has told that he will not permit the children to leave Russia.

I have read from your site that we do not require such a permission from him but also it was mentioned elsewhere that if the father has restricted the children from going abroad and staying with mother we have to get a court order in place before they leave the country.

We seek your council and assistance if such a court order is required. As my fiancee is in her last months of her pregnancy I wish to get her and the children over at the earliest. Also the schools in Turkey reopen in September and we wish they could be here in time.

Please advice and we shall do accordingly.


The most important question: do you need consent of the father to visa reception in Turkey? If “yes”, you need help from court, and I will be glad to help you with this matter. If “not”, father's consent is not required according to the general rule of exit from the Russian Federation.

If no court decision determining with which parent the child would live with after divorce was obtained then it should be obtained now. Generally, such court decision is needed for the purpose of obtaining visa for the child together with the mother.

As fiancée visa is a non-immigration visa Russian authorities will consider such exit as a temporary trip abroad. If the father is against child’s exit from the country he should submit a written application to the Border Service of Russia. If he does so the child will not be able to leave Russia until this issue is settled by judicial means.

The safest way to resolve such conflict with the ex-husband is to terminate his parental rights to the children. This is possible when the father evades of upbringing the children, doesn't pay child support or the child support paid is below the minimum subsistence level and is not enough to satisfy child’s needs. If this is the case, you should gather evidence that the father does not take part in upbringing of the child, doesn’t meet the children, doesn’t keep in touch with their, doesn’t pay child support, and doesn’t give presents. If father’s parental rights are terminated by the court your fiancée will be able to take any decisions concerning the children without regard to father’s opinion.

Your fiancée will not have any difficulties with moving to Turkey if father’s parental rights are terminated. That is why you should find out what is required to obtain visa to Turkey and whether a court decision determining child's residence is enough. Lawyer in Turkey or immigration officer may help you with this.

Lawyer in Turkey or immigration officer will also provide you with information about marriage registration procedure in Turkey. I may provide you with information about marriage registration procedure in Russia. In order to register marriage in Russia you should have a proof of your marital status (i.e. a document proving that you are not married). You can obtain such document in the Consulate of Turkey in Russia just before you submit documents for marriage registration. You should also have a notarized copy of your passport translated into Russian. It is very important to make sure that your name and your wife’s new last name are identical in all Russian documents. You should also have temporary registration in the territory of the Russian Federation. According to the general rule a marriage is registered upon expiration of one month from the date of submission of the application but it may be registered prior to expiration of one month in case the period of your stay in Russia is limited.

Upon registration of marriage the spouses may choose one or the other's last name as their common or choose not to change their last names.

All documents issued in Russia shall be legalized in order to be valid in Turkey. In the same manner all documents issued in Turkey shall be legalized in order to be valid in Russia.

You may conclude a marriage contract that will regulate the property obtained by you after state registration of marriage. Such matters as place of residence of your future children, their citizenship, place of divorce, etc. can not be covered by a marriage contract.

I can help you in this matter. I need Power of Attorney from your fiancee, Children’s certificates, Divorce Certificate, and Attorney fee. I will be glad to help you.

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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