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

Hi how are you I am looking assistance I was married to a Russian citizen she had a visa for USA and took off back to Russia with another man she refuses to show me photos or advise me of Child's welfare I am deeply concerned for her mental state as I don't believe she is of sound mind where can I start with legal proceeding in getting courts to give me access to my daughter, kind regards.


Article 3 of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, from October 25, 1980 states that removal or retention of a child is unlawful when:

a) it is in breach of rights of custody attributed to a person, an institution or any other body, either jointly or alone, under the law of the State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention; and

b) at the time of removal or retention those rights were actually exercised, either jointly or alone, or would have been so exercised but for the removal or retention.

Breach of rights of custody mentioned in “a)” may either arise by law, judicial or administrative resolution, or as the result of a lawful, legally enforceable, contractual agreement between the parties.

In my professional opinion, in your particular case it is impossible to say one way or another that moving your child was unlawful, because mother and father have equal rights of custody, and there is no court resolution that would declare otherwise.

Since your daughter is citizen of Russia, she also can obtain a registration in Russia. Because your daughter has tax ID number, I think she already has registration in Russia.

So you can do the following:

First option: Open a new lawsuit in USA and get custody of the child in the USAn Court. If USAn 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 claim in Russia about divorce and 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.

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 Apostille), or in Russian consulate in the USA.

If the child’s mother will try to abuse her parental rights and prevent you from communicating with your daughter, take bad care of her, restrict her from talking to his peers, we may bring the case for involuntary termination of her parental rights. In practice though, courts grant the termination of parental rights in extremely rare circumstances. However, such proceedings have an effect of discipline on parents who consider kids their “property”.

Please decide what you want to do with your case and I will be happy to support your position.

In general, Russian divorces are recognized worldwide. However, the custody issues may not be recognized in USA. If you want to return your child to USA, you have small chances during Russian court, because Russian courts extremely rarely makes custody decisions in favor of foreign citizens.

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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