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Family Law: adoption, guardianship (Russia)

Question

Hi my name is Arthur. I would like to ask you some questions, for payment, and possibly retain your services.

The facts of my case are as follows.

I am a resident of New York.

My girlfriend is a resident of St. Petersburg here on a H1B visa that is good for 2 1/2 more years she is 24.

She got pregnant and left to live with her mom in Russia She is currently 3 months pregnant.

Questions:

if she stays in Russia do I have to pay child support (I want to support the child just don't want to me taken to the cleaners)?

if she come back to NY can the child be kept here?

dose she sue for support here in NY or in Russia?

will I need an attorney in both places?

if a judgement is entered in Russia can it be enforced in NY even though I haven't seen the child

I do want joint custody, and I do want to be a part of this child life and care for him/her

I will be happy to pay for your time in answering theses questions and more.

Answer

As you are not married, parental duties will be imposed on you upon establishment of paternity. Paternity may be established by way of submission of a joint application to a Vital Records Office or by judicial means. Both the mother and the father are entitled to initiate an action for establishment of paternity. The child will be registered in the mother’s name if neither the mother nor the father of the child request establishment of paternity.

If you want to initiate an action for establishment of paternity, you can do it only after the child’s birth.

If your girlfriend returns to New York, she may also request establishment of paternity and recovery of child support. I believe that you will need a lawyer only in one country, in which paternity and child support matters will be settled. Based on my experience, I can say that it is not necessary for you to take legal recourse in both countries.

I believe that your chances of being awarded joint custody in Russia are very low. However, if you establish paternity by judicial means you will be able to acquire the right to meet your child and communicate with him/her via phone or Skype. In my opinion, if your girlfriend moves to New York together with the child your chances of being awarded joint custody will be significantly higher. However, there is no way to make your girlfriend move to New York, therefore, if she resides in Russia, you will only be able to visit your child.

As for the child support, according to the Russian laws you will have to pay 25% of all types of your income (after tax) as child support. However, the court may set child support in a fixed amount if the payer’s salary and/or income is unsteady and/or varying.
Karina Duvall
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