Legal defense in court in civil cases including: divorces, child support, the alimony obligations, adoptions, inheritance proceedings. Legalization of foreign divorces, search of divorce records in Russia, ex-USSR, United States. Registration, legalization of documents, apostilles. Restoration of certificates of marriage and divorce, of birth and death in Russia, the former USSR, USA, Europe, Australia, and other countries.
Questions: 453
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Family law : divorce and division of property. (Russia)
Hi Karina,

I will be filing for divorce in Russia, my wife is and has been living
in Russia since 2002. We were married in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2001. I will want help with that, but, also, I would like to know if you can also help with removing her name off the deed of my house in USA? Her name is not on the mortgage and the bank still owes more than half.

She has agreed to it, but, I am not sure how this works with her in Russia. If she was in the USA, we could do it as a notary, with quit claim deed.


Family Law: divorce proceedings, conclusion of marriage (Russia)
Hi Karina, first I will like to know the answers of these five basic questions.

Here is
my situation:

In January of 2016, I got married to a Russian national (from Moscow district). We got married in New York.

I possess the marriage documents in New York.

Later on, my spouse also got my name on her Russian passport in ZAGS as we submitted our New York marriage documents with translation and attestation.

As of December 2018, she told me that she no longer wants to continue the marriage as she is not happy in the relationship.

I tried a lot to save the marriage but she did not agree, so I acknowledged the decision.

She told me that she will apply for divorce in Russia, and it is not necessary for me to be present for the divorce.

However a month ago, she sent me a message that the divorce in Russia was not successful, as she was said that she cannot get divorced in Russia because the marriage happened in USA (I am not sure about this, there is a possibility that she is telling a lie).

Regardless, since many months have passed and we both have moved on with our lives. To start fresh I want the marriage to end legally.

I am 36 years old. We do not have any children, and we do not have any shared assets (property, car etc.).

New York laws try to save the marriage; hence it can take several years to get the divorce.

Also, I have confirmed in the United States that a divorce taken in Russia is valid in New York with no extra process.

Hence, I want to get the divorce from Russia.

I have the following questions :

1. First of all, is it possible to get divorced in Russia? (When the wife is Russian but husband is American and the marriage happened in the United States).

2. If yes, do I need to get the consent of my wife or can I apply it myself? (I do not talk to my wife anymore, and if possible I will try to get the divorce done with minimum communication from her).

3. Is it necessary for me to come to Russia for signing the papers? (If possible, I will love that I do not need to come and the attorney can do the processes. I can mail all documents needed etc.).

4. How much time it will take usually to get such divorce.

5. If the answer to question 1 is yes, then do you provide such services, or can you get me a divorce lawyer from your firm?

Family Law: termination of parental rights, rights of the child, child support. (Russia)
I am USA citizen, New York, and my wife is Russia citizen, St. Petersburg, divorced and 12 y.o. son from ex-husband. We married in the United States last year, and we have lived together in St. Petersburg. We have a new baby born in January 2019.

She has not an official income history.

I have stable income sources from my own business in the United States.

I have spent all of expenses on our family as well as even her family (son/mother)
Her son receives child support fund from her bio-father, 10 000P monthly.

My mom visited St. Petersburg with 3 month staying plan when she delivered a baby.
Wife hit me so seriously (I have doctor records).

I have not seen such an aggressive girl. I have tried to be patient for my baby not to grow up with parents divorced. She always has me hid the fact we married because she wanted to keep child support from the Ex-husband. I stopped her family support fund since I was hit.

She refused to move to USA. That is the compromise broken because we promised to move to USA and live there permanently.

Wife and I stay at home 24hrs to care the baby, but she doesn't cook for me or clean house or wash dishes and laundry. I do everything.

I want to move back to the United States with my son as soon as possible.

I am looking for an attorney in international spouse's divorce.

Family Law: termination of parental rights, rights of the child, child support. (Russia)
Hi Karina Duvall,

It is a sad situation. I am US citizen and my wife and I
met there. She was born in Moscow and has both Russian and US citizenship.

We got married in June in Moscow while expecting our first child, who was born a few days ago.

The relationship broke down during the pregnancy.

I will need to return to USA very soon for financial reasons and she will be staying here with her parents. She will return to New York with the baby in the new year. She has lived in New York permanently since she was young, but wanted to have the baby here.

I will need to get copies of documents such as the marriage certificate and have them apostilled, but I am not in a position to take care of this myself before I leave Moscow. This will be very important to ensure that my rights as the father of the child are recognized in New York. (In the USA a father is automatically a legal guardian of a child if he is married to the mother when the child is born).

I hope you will be able to help me with this. Any other advice you have for me would be welcome.

Family law : divorce and division of property. (Russia)
Hi Karina Duvall, thanks for the valuable information. I have some feedback and additional questions.

Thankfully, I
do have the marriage certificate with myself. If I need to send you the power of attorney and the marriage certificate, will it be OK if I scan and send the documents by email? Or is it necessary to send the documents by postal service.

Once the divorce is done, will the final document issued by the court or by ZAGS? Will the husband and wife needs to sign on the document for it to be valid, or is it a government document which will be valid without the need of my and my spouse signature?

I have a question about the ground of divorce.
Will it be something standard like "On the grounds of the decision of the justice of the peace"? Or will it be something else. The reason I am asking this is to just make sure that the divorce document will be instantly valid without any further process here.

I am impressed to know that you have handled many international divorces. Also, thanks for understanding the economy and currency differences between USA and other countries. Our currency is weak and is very similar to Ruble. The average salary of a software engineer here, in my home country, is 40,000 Rubles per month approximately.

Hence, I suggest you to kindly consider the total service fee to be [the flat fee]. Please let me know what you think about this and also the other points.

Family Law: termination of parental rights, rights of the child, child support. (Russia)
I am contacting you to see whether if you could provide legal counsel to a very close friend of mine, living in Moscow. Her name is Oksana, she is a Russian citizen, mother of a 9-year-old child born in Russian, whom she would like to have full custody of. The father, also of Russian nationality and to who she is divorced, is refusing her the custody and actually preventing her from exercising her parental rights. We lived in the United States together as family last year. She took son to Moscow by father request for visitation, but he took the son and refuses to return. Please advise.

Family law : divorce and division of property. (Russia)
So this means that if an American wants to divorce a Russian citizen he can't go and do this at the Russian consulate here? In his own country ? If this service only available to ado Russian citizen then it means I won't be able to do it at any embassy. I need to know 100 percent what I can do. I want to move on with my life.

Family law : divorce and division of property. (Russia)
Dear Ms. Karina Duvall,

I am an American citizen who married a Russian woman in Italy in
January 2016. We live in the US and my wife has her green card. I would like to get a divorce in Russia. My wife is currently on vacation in St Petersburg and I am in Italy. We have no children; own a home in New York since May 2018, and a car. My wife has not worked during our marriage and has not contributed financially. I am 70 and she is 55... Our sole source of income is my social security. She owns an apartment in St. Petersburg with no mortgage. The apartment in New York has a $230,000 mortgage with 0 equity, car is paid for. I prefer an administrative divorce because it's faster and cheaper. Can you represent me and handle my case? Do you offer flat fee services?

Family Law: termination of parental rights, rights of the child, child support. (Russia)
Here my situation:

-I’m the father, of a Spanish man, resident in Valencia, Spain.
The mother is
a Russian, resident in Russia.
We are not married.
We have difficult communication.
The child is 4 years old, he born in Russia, resident in Russia, Saint Petersburg.
I didn't recognize the child yet; he is registered under mother’s name.

My questions:

1) Which law will be applying? Russian, Spanish or international one?

2) Am I able to register the child under my name?
If the mother agrees, i guess, it should be just a normal registration.
Have I the right to give my family name and eventually a second first name to the child?
And what about if the mother would not agree?

On the contrary, if, at the moment, I don't do the legal registration under my name, and the mother wants it, could she make a legal process to oblige me to recognize the child and pay the material care?

3) If we do not agree with the mother about the decision about the child, how does it usually work?
Has the mother all the rights to take any decision?

4) Meeting: Have I the right to see the child alone? How does it usually work for the law? How much time I can see him and for how long?
We are from 2 different countries, so it is not easy come to Russia for me and it is not even my real interest.
Would it be possible make the child come to Spain (for example) with a baby sitter or with any other solution?
if the mother does not agree?

5) Education: have I the right to choose the education, school or any other professional (and not) course? How does usually work?
And again... if the mother does not agree?

6) € Material care: how much is the € / per month I should give to the child? How does this calculation work?
The child live in Russia, so, I would like to know how much is the Russian standard (€/month) that a Russian father usually give to the child in Russia (Saint Petersburg).

7) A which age the child will be able (for law) to come alone and spend time with me or he will be able to decide by himself without the influence of the mother?

Family Law: divorce proceedings, conclusion of marriage (Russia)
Dear Ms Karina Duvall,

Greetings. I found your website via the internet and it seems highly professional.
I hope you might be able to shed some light on my situation.

I have Japanese citizenship and my husband has Russian citizenship (with no other citizenship to my knowledge). We married while traveling in the U.S. (where neither of us have citizenship nor permanent residence) in 2013. After everything turned messy, he now resides in his hometown, Samara, in Russia, while I stay in my home in Tokyo. We haven't seen each other since January 2016, only communicated online. We have no child, no shared property, no valuable items purchased together after marriage, no shared debt to my knowledge.

My questions:

1. He does not agree to divorce, so would I be able to file divorce in a Russian court? Would I receive assistance (e.g. translation) in the court, or in the process of divorcing?

2. I hold a job with moderate salary, and he does not have steady income (again, to my knowledge. He says he has some free-lancing works but I don't know the details. He refuses to talk about such topics). In this case, would I be ordered to pay alimony? Based on what I know, his mother in Russia also gives him money sometimes.

3. Due to my job demand and family life situation, I cannot afford a lengthy legal battle in a foreign country. I might be able to stay in Russia for about 1 month maximum, but even that I cannot be sure. So is there a swift way to solve the matter? I try my best to reach a settlement with him, but I should also prepare for court. How long does a typical international case take?

He lives in Samara, so I don't know if it is ok to ask you to take this case and represent me. If yes, how much would you charge? If no, could you recommend a lawyer in that area, or suggest some ways for me to find one? I have done excessive search on the internet but come up with no useful information.

Thank you and best wishes,

Questions: 453
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