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Judgments of divorce delivered by Russian courts are recognized by US courts and vice versa

Judgments of divorce delivered by Russian courts are recognized by US courts and vice versa.

For example I have a judgment delivered by a Russian court which dissolved the marriage between the parties and determined that the mother shall be the custodial parent. The father didn’t agree with the judgment. The US court expressly recognized the judgment to the extent of dissolution of the marriage but declared that only Illinois courts have jurisdiction over the children. Thereafter the parties initiated property division and custody proceedings in the USA.

In other case the husband took legal action in Russia. He requested the court to dissolve the marriage, divide the property and determine the custodial parent. The Russian court satisfied the claims. The respondent didn’t acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Russian court. As a result the Michigan court recognized the judgment to the extent of dissolution of the marriage but retried the case to the extent of custody and division of the property.

In a third case the husband brought the action for divorce in the Russian court. The wife didn’t receive the summon but retained her place of residence in Russia on that ground the court declared that the summon was properly served and dissolved the marriage. In New York the wife challenged the judgment of divorce delivered by the Russian court. The New York court decided that the divorce was legal and delivered a separate property division judgment.

In a fourth case the parties dissolved their marriage in Russia and at the same time the wife recovered spousal support from the husband who resided in Colorado. The Colorado court asked for my expert opinion when it was taking the decision on recognition of the judgment delivered by the Russian court. Eventually, the divorce was recognized but the spousal support was not due to the differences in procedures applicable in Russian and Colorado.

As mention in the judgment of the New York court, the US courts shall recognize foreign divorces unless they violate mainstay of society.

The essential aspect of your case is that both parties were not only duly notified of the hearing but were also represented by competent attorneys, i.e. the parties’ rights were protected to the maximum extent possible. Moreover, the judgment was appealed and reviewed by the court of appeal.

The most essential aspect here is that the respondent acknowledged the jurisdiction of the Russian court immediately by asking the court to grant a reconciliation period. According to the laws a court must dissolve a marriage in case the measures taken to save the marriage didn’t bring any result.

According to the laws of the Russian Federation divorce doesn’t prevent the parties from handling various problems after the dissolution of the marriage. For example, an ex-wife may bring an action for spousal support within a year from the date of the dissolution of the marriage, and an action for division of matrimonial property can be brought within three years.

Thus, the ex-wife’s rights are not violated, she is entitled to continue solving matters of argument between the ex-spouses (if any). According to the laws of the Russian Federation divorce only changes the marital status of the parties, allows the parties to remarry and terminates the matrimonial property regime.

The Russian court had undoubted jurisdiction over this divorce as the marriage between the parties had been registered in the Russian Federation, the parties retained their place of residence in the Russian Federation and citizenship of the Russian Federation. In terms of the laws of the Russian Federation all individuals who retained their place of residence in the Russian Federation are considered temporarily staying in the USA.

Articles and consultations authored by attorney reflect the state of law as of the date of their writing. The laws change daily. Users of this site are advised to consult attorney regarding their situation.
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