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

Question

I am writing a story about divorce in Russia. I would like to interview you and have your opinion on the subject.

These are the questions i would like to address:

1. What are the main reasons, according to you, behind the high divorce rates in Russia?

2. Do you believe that these issues might be related to marrying early, infidelity, alcoholism?

3. What has the government done now and what more can it do to affect the divorce rate?

4. How many divorces to you handle a year?

5. Are divorces easier in Russia? If yes, why?

6. What part to children play in the divorce? What is the perspective in Russia toward paying child support etc.?

7. Do you see a change in trend in the past two decades? Are younger people not going to have such a high divorce rate? If yes, why?

8. Lastly, have I forgotten anything on the subject? If yes please write any additional comment.

Thank you very much!

Answer

I am happy to answer your questions. When your story is complete, please send it to me so I can read it.

1. You are right. The percentage of divorces is very high in Russia. Speaking of divorces in marriages with U.S. nationals, I believe that the large number of divorces is due to hasty decisions to get married. People get married without knowing each other and begin to learn about each other while already married. Many American men dream to marry a Russian woman, hoping that she will be a housewife and will be content with that. American men do not take into account that majority of Russian women have university backgrounds and speak foreign languages and that they expect to continue their professional and personal growth when they agree to move to another country. There is a conflict when expectations and hopes of the spouses are not just different but are at opposite poles. This results in a huge number of divorces.

2. Speaking of marriages between nationals of the same country, many divorces are caused by the reasons mentioned by you. But when it comes to divorces between citizens of Russia and the U.S., the reasons behind them are much deeper, such as different mentalities, diametrically opposed views on life, differences in habits, customs and life expectations — all these often create a huge gap between the spouses and inevitably lead to a divorce.

3. Speaking of the U.S. Government, I strongly doubt that it can somehow influence the number of divorces. No matter how complex divorce procedures and how high the related costs (legal and attorney fees) are, people will always find an opportunity to get divorced. Moreover, keeping a legal marriage while in fact there is no more family can cause irreparable property damage and personal harm.

As for Russia, many women marry U.S. citizens not because of big love but rather for a better life. Certainly, the Russian government can influence the standard of living. If everyone in Russia has a decent job, good wages and adequate social and medical support, many will not seek their fortunes overseas and this will reduce the number of hasty marriages and quick divorces.

4. Annually, our company is contacted by lots of people who want to get a divorce. I am not sure about the exact number.

5. Yes, it is much easier to obtain a divorce in Russia than in the U.S. or Europe. First, in Russia you do not have to have a reason for divorce and moreover you do not have to prove it. The Russian judicial system does not know the concept of “ground trail”, because for a Russian court it is of no importance why a spouse or both spouses have decided to get divorced. Marriage is a free choice of men and women. Second, as opposed to foreign courts, the Russian court is not obliged to solve issues between the spouses in a divorce proceeding. A divorce proceeding may take years if it also covers issues such as property separation, disputes with regard to children, child and spouse support (alimony), etc. This is the case in the U.S. or England where divorce proceedings last for years. The Constitution of the United States grants every citizen the right to be happy. But is it possible if you cannot get divorced for one, two, three or five years? In Russia, you can obtain a divorce in 3 or 4 months by changing the marital status of the spouses only while postponing the resolution of all the other disputes and conflicts to a more appropriate time.

6. Children are a big issue in any divorce. It is especially notable when one of the parents is going to bring their child to another country. Unfortunately, this is a very substantial, complex and ambiguous subject and in the light of the current relations between Russia and the U.S., the chances for returning children to one country or another are very small. Dishonest parents take advantage of this situation and bring their children out from Russia to the United States and vice versa, understanding that in most cases it will be impossible to force the child’s return home. As for child support, these are arranged quite simply: if there is a court decision and the debtor is permanently employed and receives wages, collecting child support is a matter of a few pages of correctly completed documents.

7. In my opinion, divorce trends only get worse over time. Family values are becoming increasingly less important for many young people and I would not expect the number of divorces to fall. It can only be the case if there are fewer marriages.

8. I believe you have covered the main questions.
Karina Duvall
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