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

Hi, my name is Arthur. Two months ago my wife decided go back in Russia. She filed for divorce in U.S. I think it didn't look good for her and she fled to Russia. What I can to do, and what I can expect in future?


Your wife can file for divorce action in Russia regardless of her residence or place of registration of marriage. She can do it because she is a citizen of the Russian Federation.

Russian Judge can grant divorce with or without custody issues.

In general, Russian divorces are recognized worldwide. Maybe it will change after Crimea crisis and international sanctions against Russia, but now no problems with this.

However, the custody and visitation issues may not be recognized in Canada or United States.

If you want to return your child to United States or Canada, you have small chances during Russian court, because Russian courts extremely rarely makes decisions in favor of foreign citizens.

So you can do the following:

First option: Open a new lawsuit or continue an existing lawsuit in United States or Canada and get custody of the child in the American or Canadian Court. If American / Canadian court grants custody for you, your wife gets problems in other countries. In this case, you, as a parent having custody, will be able to get help from other countries except Russia. In this case, with regard to your wife could be prosecuted, and if she tried to cross the border with a child, the child will be given to you;

Second option: File a counterclaim in Russia about visitation issues. Since you are the father of the child, the Judge cannot deny you the right to participate in the life of the child, and to see him. The judge will give you time during the year when you can see the child, and the right to communicate with the child through Skype and/or phone.

For now, you need to find if your wife filed divorce action to the court or not. She can file this case to magistrate (divorce and/or child support) or to federal court (divorce, child support, and custody and visitation issues). She can obtain spousal support also, because your child younger than 3 years old.

I need to know her address in Russia to make a search of this case in the Russian courts. Please let me know. Please send me copy of her passport, copy of marriage certificate, copy of birth certificate of child, if you have.

If you need our professional representation in the Russian Court, you have to provide me power of Attorney. You can sign Power of Attorney via notary (with U.S. Apostille), or in Russian consulate in the USA.

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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