Family law : divorce and division of property. (USA)
I'm an American married to a Russian woman for the past 7 years. We married in 2008 in Moscow and have lived in the Netherlands for the entire time. I bought properties during marriage with money I had earned long before marriage. These are mostly in another European country.
Will I be obligated to give her a portion of these properties by law under divorce settlement?
According to the Art. 24 of the Family Code of Russian Federation, when dissolving the marriage in court, the spouses may present for the consideration of the court an agreement about property dividing.
If the parties have not agreed, and also if the agreement infringes upon the rights of one of the spouses, the judge, upon the demand of Plaintiff or Defendant, can make division of the property, which parties acquired during their marriage.
However, you need to know that the Russian Court has jurisdiction over foreign immovable property only during divorce proceeding (Art. 24 of the Family Code of Russia). The Russian Court has no jurisdiction over foreign property separate from Divorce procedure. According to the Art 30 of the Civil Procedural Code of the Russian Federation, immovable property can be dividing by competent court where this property located.
So, the best way to you will be receiving the divorce in Russia without property issues. I will be glad to help you, and if I’ll handle your case, we try to avoid property issue during divorce procedure.
If the division of property in Russia is inevitable, then protect your rights will be possible on the basis of Art. 36 Part 1 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation, namely, the property which belonged to each of the spouses before his entering into the marriage, and also the property, received by one of the spouses during their marriage by way of inheritance or by other gratuitous deals, shall be his own property. So, in this case you have to proof that you had earned this money before marriage. But, I have to repeat, the best way for you just avoid property division by the Russian Court, because after divorce the Russian Court will lose jurisdiction over foreign property.
I will be glad to handle your divorce.