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Divorce Jurisdiction



KARINA DUVALL, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

1. I am an attorney admitted to practice law in the Russian Federation. I have over 15 years of high-level experience in the Matrimonial, Family and Civil Law of the Russian Federation as well as in International Law.

2. I am licensed by the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York as a legal consultant on Russian law, pursuant to Section 53(6) of the Judiciary Law of the State of New York, as limited by Part 521 of the Rules of the New York State Court of Appeals, and in accordance with the Rules of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.

3. I also have been designated as a Foreign Legal Consultant, pursuant to Rule XI, Section 8 of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio. Accordingly, I may render legal services in Ohio to the extent authorized by Rule XI.

4. I am often called upon to testify in United States courts as an expert on Russian law. Documents evidencing my right to practice law in the Russian Federation, New York and Ohio are attached hereto as Exhibit A. My clients are individuals of all nations who need expertise in Russian law. I specialize in Family and International Private Law and my area of expertise is complex multi-jurisdictional family and matrimonial cases.

5. I was retained by Petitioner. Her American counsel has asked me to make an affidavit for use in this action, setting out the result of that action as well as to explain certain principles of Russian law. Any factual statements set out herein are based on knowledge I acquired during the pendency of the Russian litigation.

6. The Parties were married in 2004 in Russia. Petitioner is Russian citizen, and Respondent is Turkish citizen.

7. Article 160, Part 2 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation allows Russian citizens who live abroad, to file for divorce in Russia even if his or her spouse lives outside of the Russian Federation.

8. Actions in a Russian court can be filed at the last known place of the residence of the defendant. Article 29 of the Civil Procedural Code of the Russian Federation allows serving a writ to a defendant who does not have a place of residence on the territory of the Russian Federation at the Plaintiff's place of residence.

9. According of Art. 402 part 1 of the Civil Procedural Code of the Russian Federation, the Jurisdiction of cases with the participation of foreigners to the courts in the Russian Federation is defined in accordance with the common rules of jurisdiction. Specifically, Russian courts considers divorce cases if the plaintiff in a case has his or her place of residence on the territory of the Russian Federation, or if either of the spouses is a Russian citizen.

10. Russian court definitely had jurisdiction over this divorce at that time. Additionally, Russia has absolutely no residency requirement in terms of duration of stay in the country prior to filing for a divorce.

11. Based on the Court’s jurisdiction over Respondent, the court commenced a divorce action on behalf of Petitioner on November 30, 2011.

12. No one appealed and the divorce judgement, thereby rendering the divorce a final order dated on February 13, 2012.

13. In summary, the Russian divorce is final and valid and both parties appeared in the action to advance their respective interests. This Court should recognize the Russian judgment. Divorce in Russia does not prevent both parties from requesting division of property by commencing an appropriate action in a competent court in the United States.

I, Karina Duvall, hereby certify that the foregoing affidavit made by me is true.

Karina Duvall
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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