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Family Law: divorce proceedings, conclusion of marriage (Russia)

I live in USA and I would like to know if you can help me with getting an annulment of marriage. My wife is a Russian citizen and has been living in New York for 9 months. She has returned to Russia last week and is now living at her mothers apartment. We were married in St. Petersburg in September of 2009 then she arrived here in May of 2011. She has two children from a previous marriage, she was registered last living with her mother in St. Petersburg. I met her on internet and then i came to St. Petersburg and stayed 3 weeks, at that point in my life i had just went through suffering a death of a very close family member, my finance was very comforting to me and i explained to her while there that i wanted some time but she told me that she could not continue our relationship and we needed to be married. I went ahead while there and we were married, we went on talking online and i felt maybe i was just not thinking right about the situation and that everything would work out. After the last nine months she has told me that she wanted a divorce and that she wanted to go back to Russia , then before leaving she said that she really did not want to leave. The relationship has been very disappointing for both of us . We do not have any property together and or children, can this marriage be annulled or would a divorce be the only way and can you help in this matter?


Pursuant to the Family Code of Russian Federation (the “Code”), the marriage shall be recognized as annulled if the terms established by Articles 12-14 and by Item 3 of Article 15 of the present Code are violated, and also in the case of entering into a fictitious marriage, i.e., if the spouses, or one of the spouses registered the marriage without the intention to start a family. Annulment is the process by which a Court states that a marriage never legally existed. A marriage must be recognized as annulled by the court.

In particular, annulment may be obtained based on the following reasons: if one of the spouses is married to another person at the time of the wedding, incestuous marriage between close blood relatives, incapacity of one of the spouses as declared by the court etc. If you do not meet any of the above requirements for annulment, the only way to have your marriage annulled is to prove that one of you entered into this marriage without a goal of creating a family.

Therefore, in my opinion, since you and your spouse have resided in Russia together for three weeks prior to getting married and afterwards you have resided together in the United States for not less than 9 months, it will be practically impossible to prove that your marriage is fictitious and subsequently get it annulled.

In the event you petition to the court to have your marriage annulled, you will risk losing a substantial amount of money on legal fees and filing fees and the chance that you will lose on the merits is very high. In my professional opinion and based on my vast experience in such matters, you have a typical case for a regular divorce action. Moreover, if you and your spouse do not have any issues dividing marital property, then this makes no sense to make annulment.

I am an experienced divorce attorney, especially in the matters like yours, and will be happy to assist you with your divorce. Divorce process generally takes approximately 3 to 4 months. Please send me the following documents: copy of a marriage certificate and copy of your passport. I also need address for your wife in St. Petersburg. Once I receive all the required information from you, I will submit all the documents to the court and prepare your petition for divorce.

If you have any additional question, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I will be happy to assist you.

Very truly yours,

Karina Krasnova

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.
Karina Duvall
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