SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Plaintiff, INDEX NO. XXXXXXXX
-against- AFFIDAVIT IN
STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF NEW YORK ss:
I, KARINA KRASNOVA, being duly sworn, depose and say:
1. I am an attorney licensed to practice law in the Russian Federation. My registration number is 78/857. My specialty is matrimonial and family law in the Russian Federation. I am also registered as a legal consultant in the United States and I am often called to testify in the United States courts as an expert on Russian laws.
2. I am writing this Affidavit in support of this motion to have the parties’ divorce from Russia recognized and registered in the United States. My clients consist of individuals of all nations who need representation in Russia on matrimonial issues.
3. As plaintiff’s attorney in Russia, I am fully familiar with the facts and circumstances of the parties’ case and their divorce file.
4. The parties are Russian citizens. They were married on XXXXXXXXXXX, in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, and they have a minor child who currently resides in St. Petersburg, XXXXXXXXX.
5. Plaintiff, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, retained my services in 2009 to represent him in connection with a divorce. It is not uncommon for residents of the United States to obtain a divorce in their home country, provided they meet jurisdictional requirements. Generally, in such cases the divorce decree does not include any incidental relief (i.e., equitable distribution, maintenance), only effects a change in marital status.
6. Here, the parties met jurisdictional requirements for obtaining a divorce in St. Petersburg, Russia. To obtain a divorce in Russia, under the Russian laws, at least one of the parties must be a Russian resident/domiciliary.
7. Residency in Russia has a registration requirement. Thus, if an individual wants to be a resident or domiciliary of a particular city or town in Russia, that person must register with the Cityhall or Township of that city or town, and must provide an address for service of process within its borders. Conversely, if that individual wishes to change his or her residence, he must “unregister.” The service of process on the individual who is registered as a Russian domiciliary must be made at the place of his registration. See Rules of Registration and Unregistration of Russian Federation Citizens' Permanent and Temporary Residence within the Russian Federation approved by Resolution 713 of the Russian Federation Government of 17 July 1995, Articles 1, 4, 16, 31.
8. An individual who maintains a domiciliary registration address in that city or town is entitled to social benefits from that city or town, including an equivalent of Social Security, and Medicaid.
9. At the time the divorce was commenced, the defendant wife here maintained an official residence/domicile in St. Petersburg, Russia. She registered herself at an address at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Although she was temporarily residing in XXXXXXXXXXXXX, she never changed her registration as the Russian domiciliary.
10. Upon information and belief, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX maintained her registration as the Russian resident to continue to receive benefits for the parties’ child XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX in the Russian State, and also because she intended to return to Russia upon expiration of her American visa.
11. This registration allowed the Russian Federation for jurisdiction over XXXXXXXXXX marriage to XXXXXXXXXXX.
12. Prior to filing the divorce complaint in the Russian Federation, before the Peace of Judicial District XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, I ascertained that XXXXXXXXXXXX continued to maintain a residence at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. A copy of the defendant’s registration of her domicile with Leningrad Region, Russia, is annexed hereto as Exhibit “1.” Defendant’s Russian passport indicates that XXXXXXXXXX maintains her registration at the same address, at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
13. Thus, at the time the divorce was commenced in Russia, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX registration in Russia made it proper and lawful for me to commence a divorce action against her in Russia.
14. Based on the foregoing, the divorce action was duly filed against XXXXXXXXXXXXXX on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX, in the Leningrad Region, Russia, before the Court of Judicial District XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
15. The court in Russia verified XXXXXXXXX registration and notified XXXXXXXX of the divorce proceeding at the designated address, at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
16. A divorce decree was granted to the plaintiff on XXXXXXXXXXX, on default. Exhibit “4.”
17. The decree did not address any issues incidental to the parties’ divorce, such as maintenance or equitable distribution.
18. The divorce decree was also sent to XXXXXXXXX at her designated address at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
19. In XXXXXXXXXX, defendant issued a Power of Attorney to her adult son, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, for purposes of appearing before the Russian Court on her behalf with respect to the parties’ divorce. (Exhibit “5”)
20. The Power of Attorney was filed with the Court of Judicial District of the Leningrad Region, Russia. In that Power of Attorney, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX confirmed that she was registered as a resident of the Leningrad Region and authorized XXXXXXXXXXXXXX to act on her behalf.
21. Although XXXXXXXXXXX son could proceed and file an appeal on XXXXXXXXXXXXX behalf pursuant to that Power of Attorney, no appeal was filed of the divorce. (Although the time to appeal had expired by April 02, 2010, XXXXXXXXXXX would have been allowed to extend her time to appeal till September 2010 if she could show that she had no opportunity to appeal prior to April 02, 2010).
22. I was told by the plaintiff’s New York attorney that in January 2011, the plaintiff filed a proceeding for equitable distribution against XXXXXXXXX in this Court, based on the divorce from Russia. As I understand, XXXXXXXXXXXX initially counterclaimed for equitable distribution but in July 2011, she changed her mind and decided to object to the divorce.
23. Accordingly, I submit this affirmation in support of this motion to declare the Russian divorce a valid divorce.