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

Question

I am married to Russian woman since July 2013. It is a long story but I have known her for more than 5 years before we married. We live in the United States. However since October she is pregnant and changed completely and does not speak any English at home and sleeps with her son in one bed and I sleep alone. I tried to talk to her but she refuses to talk at all.

Now in my state it is not possible to divorce when you are not married for 1 year. So I wonder if it is at all possible to divorce in Russia now? She lives legally with me in the United States and has a residence card based on the fact she is married to me. If the answer is yes, could you help me with this? And what would be the costs?

Just FYI I take full responsibility of the baby and don’t want in any way dump her or something. But I believe that a child should grow up in a normal family situation and not in a house where husband and wife basically have no relation at all and do not communicate about anything. The few times she has spoken she said she believes she has made a terrible mistake by marrying me. And I must say that she may be right.

Answer

You have a complicated situation. You can file divorce case in Russia if you show in your statement you have no children from this marriage. The Judge is obligated to grant divorce for you if your wife don’t file her objection and prove she is pregnant. However, if your wife shows proper document about her present pregnancy, the judge is supposed to close divorce case. In this case you can only ask for divorce after child from pregnancy is one year old. You still can obtain divorce if your wife will agree to divorce.

One way to resolve this situation is annulment. In this case you have to prove she had no intentions of a true marriage, but for the reason, marriage to receive immigration for her and her son. She used marriage to you to establish residence in United States and receive immigrations papers.

Through an annulment, you will still keep parental rights and obligations to your child. You could have obligations to support your daughter or son.

So, you can file divorce case first. If your wife does not say anything about her pregnancy and does not provide to the court proper proof, you probably will obtain divorce.

But if your wife will obtain attorney advice, and will make statement and proof to the court about her pregnancy, the judge must close divorce case. If this happens, you still can file annulment.

If you decide start with divorce or annulment case, please provide me following documents and information:

1) copy of Marriage Certificate;
2) copy of your passport;
3) copy of passport of your wife, if you have;
4) copies of her and her son’s immigration documents for case of annulment;
5) your address;
6) address of your wife in the Russia;
7) Power of Attorney for me;

If you want to file divorce, you need to do this before your child is born, because after he or she is born and until your child is one year old, you can’t file divorce case in Russia.

I will be glad to help you, and I can start now.
Karina Duvall
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