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Family law : divorce and division of property. (Russia)
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Question

Thank you for answering my questions. You fully answered them. I have one more quick one.

Following the assumption that my wife and I file for divorce in Russia:

My wife and I are 50% owners of a house in the United States. Current Value of $162,000.00 and Debt of 118,000.00. I would of course like it to then be 100% my house after the divorce and have to pay nothing or the minimum amount possible to my ex wife.

How would this property be handled in the Russian divorce legal system?

My wife also 50% owns a apartment in Moscow that she is living in. 50% hers, 50% her mothers. Worth maybe $55,000.00.

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Answer

According to the Family Law of the Russian Federation, private possessional and non-possessional rights and obligations of the spouses are defined by the law of the state, in which they live together. If they don't live together, then those right and responsibilities are defined by the law of the state in which they lived together for the last time. Any Russia-related private possessional and non-possessional rights and responsibilities of the spouses who have never lived together are defined by the law of the Russian Federation. I believe that Russian Court will not divide your property located outside the Russian Federation, especially since the last place where you were living together was in the US and not in the Russian Federation (hence it would be unlawful for the Russian Court to bring any judgment regarding property located in the US). I believe that you are aware that you can sign an agreement with your wife, which would define which property and in what amounts belongs to whom after the divorce. Maybe you can agree on conditions which will satisfy you both.

Regarding your wife's property in Moscow, it is important to know, when this property was acquired - before or after the marriage. Any property acquired before the marriage belongs to the spouse who acquired it. Any property acquired during marriage (with an exception of inheritance and free-of-charge transactions) typically is shared by the both spouses in equal parts, unless there is a prenuptial agreement, which says otherwise.

All the best to you,

Karina

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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