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

Question

International divorce issues

Answer

An American married to Russian citizen faces additional problems when divorcing. These can include financial difficulties, jurisdiction concerns and cultural differences.

One key issue is child custody. Previously, mothers were typically granted custody over fathers, and, as a result, it was common and relatively easy for mothers to take children with them to another country. Today, however, men, at least in the U.S., are being awarded custody almost as frequently as women, and, as a result, litigation and conflict over child custody issues have increased.

Property issues are also more prevalent in international divorces. If one spouse owns property in Russia and refuses to give it up, you can hire Russian attorney to protect your rights.

Problems with immigration or citizenship may also arise. Additionally, jurisdiction is also a common problem in international divorce. Often the laws of at least two countries are involved, and more if the couple lived in other countries as well.

Do not assume because one spouse is an American that the divorce may be filed in the United States. Jurisdiction is not determined by where the parties are born, but by where they are currently living. However, according to the Russian law, you can file divorce in Russia if one spouse is Russian.

International divorces are usually easiest in the United States and Europe. They are more difficult in areas such as the Middle East or North Africa where men's rights are favored over women's.

An individual facing a divorce, whether it involves the intricacies of dual citizenship or not, can benefit from an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can provide guidance about the process and advocate on your behalf.
Karina Duvall
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