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

Dear Ms Karina Duvall,

Greetings. I found your website via the internet and it seems highly professional. I hope you might be able to shed some light on my situation.

I have Japanese citizenship and my husband has Russian citizenship (with no other citizenship to my knowledge). We married while traveling in the U.S. (where neither of us have citizenship nor permanent residence) in 2013. After everything turned messy, he now resides in his hometown, Samara, in Russia, while I stay in my home in Tokyo. We haven't seen each other since January 2016, only communicated online. We have no child, no shared property, no valuable items purchased together after marriage, no shared debt to my knowledge.

My questions:

1. He does not agree to divorce, so would I be able to file divorce in a Russian court? Would I receive assistance (e.g. translation) in the court, or in the process of divorcing?

2. I hold a job with moderate salary, and he does not have steady income (again, to my knowledge. He says he has some free-lancing works but I don't know the details. He refuses to talk about such topics). In this case, would I be ordered to pay alimony? Based on what I know, his mother in Russia also gives him money sometimes.

3. Due to my job demand and family life situation, I cannot afford a lengthy legal battle in a foreign country. I might be able to stay in Russia for about 1 month maximum, but even that I cannot be sure. So is there a swift way to solve the matter? I try my best to reach a settlement with him, but I should also prepare for court. How long does a typical international case take?

He lives in Samara, so I don't know if it is ok to ask you to take this case and represent me. If yes, how much would you charge? If no, could you recommend a lawyer in that area, or suggest some ways for me to find one? I have done excessive search on the internet but come up with no useful information.

Thank you and best wishes,


Thank you for your question.

Yes, I will be glad to handle your case in Samara. The case will takes approximately 3 months.

You do not have any reason to worry about legal battle since you have no children and no property.

According to the Russian law, you are responsible for your husband only if he got disability during marriage or during one year after marriage.

No, the Russian court will not assist you: this is your responsibility to hire attorney and Russian interpreter (if needed). However you have no single reason to appear to the Russian court. I will handle all your matrimonial problem for fixed amount. You do not need to spend time and money for travel at all.

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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