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

In December 2020 my wife and child left on holiday from New York, USA to St. Petersburg, Russia and now have no plans to return.

My daughter age 8 resides with her mother in St. Petersburg.

There is property in New York and wife’s recent purchase an apartment in St. Petersburg. I want her to release property in New York to me with Power of Attorney and Quit Claim Deed and I will release her property to her in Russia (wife sold 2nd house of equal value and took all proceeds).

The final divorce documents I will need translated and properly certified so I will be able to my New York attorney for settling divorce in New York.

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Answer

According to Russian law, the judge can grant a divorce to the party with or without resolving any other issues. Therefore, most of my clients prefer to get done with divorce (which makes you free to remarry, to sell or buy your property, etc). To get divorce, you do not have to wait until all issues will be resolved. You can open any legal case at any time before, after, or within divorce. From my point of view, it will be more prospectively to divide your spousal properties in the United States. The Russian order will not be enforceable automatically in New York. Even if the Russian judge makes an order in your favor (which is not even close to 100%), you will have to go through the appropriate New York court to recognize it in the USA. Therefore, the best way for you, to address directly to the appropriate New York court with division property case or partition. It will not be hard for you to prove that your wife already took her part of property. As a result, most likely, you will get sole ownership for your existing properties. Therefore, I would not bring property issues to the Russian Court.

As for visitation, you can make a settlement with your wife in the Court or in front of a notary public. This time is not the best for personal visitation because of the health situation within the whole world. Many visitation orders became non-enforceable because of the pandemic. Therefore, if you can get any agreement with your wife, do it. Otherwise you have a risk to get only online visitations at least for the next few years.

Because you did not notify authorities about child abduction on time, you cannot claim it now. Therefore, visitation is the only option for you.

Please remember. Because no order about child support exists, you do not have to provide such child support. You can keep this argument (money) as an instrument for visitation negotiation.

To represent you in the divorce matter, I need the following documents:

1) a power of attorney with an apostille (I will prepare it for you);

2) certified copy of marriage record;

3) certified copy of birth record of the child;

4) copy of your passport;

5) copy of passport of your wife (if available);

6) addresses of both parties. I will use the existing address of your wife, and if the court will establish that this is the wrong address, the Court will find the correct address.

Regards,

Karina Duvall

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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