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Family Law: termination of parental rights, rights of the child, child support. (Russia)
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Question

Hi Dear Karina,

I might give you a phone call today, but here is my situation in full text. I need some assistance on what to do to cut my loss.

I'm a US citizen. I was temporarily working in Eastern Europe and have a Russian Girlfriend. 5 month ago we were discussing getting kids, I said I did not want and she said she wanted. One month later, I learnt that she is pregnant, and does not want to abort. I feel like dying and want to get out of this relation. It looks like she wants to "have as many kids as she can" and we just are too different at that point. I am scared that if I give her residency here, or a marriage, it will put me in deep trouble.

I work as a contractor with ups and downs, last year was quite ok, as I did not take vacations and such.

I have a few questions:

- Is there something I can do to not pay child support (even if you will not provide me the info as it is perhaps illegal)? I am free to relocate anytime.

- I tried to ask arranging an amount instead of a percentage, she is against it. She wants the state to decide (obviously more favorable for her). What can I expect? Should I consider living with her in Russia with no income for a year to reduce my bill? or something else?

Thank you for reading. Hope we can come up with something, or at least clarify how I can either cut my loss now, or a bit later.

!
Answer

Before making any financial settlement with your girlfriend, she has to establish your paternity. If you will be agreed, you can do it voluntary in ZAGS authorities or through Russian consulate. Otherwise, she needs to file legal action.

She has two ways to establish paternity in court. She can do it in Russian or US court.

I would recommend her to file paternity action in US. The American court order will be enforceable everywhere. However, this is very expensive way for most of Russian women. Most likely, she will file a case in Russian court. She has to provide to Russian court your address. If she will be not able to inform you about upcoming hearing, she probably will lose this hearing.

If you will be fully informed about the hearing, the judge will appoint the DNA expertise.

If expertise will say you are the father, you can start to negotiate child support. No reason to do it earlier.

From day when paternity will be established, you can request visitation with child. You can settle this issue or file legal action as well.

The child support will be depends from your income. If she can prove your income, the judge can order big child support. Otherwise, it will be small amount or 1/4 of living wage. Any Russian order will be hard to enforce in any foreign country. Therefore, this is not smart decision to ask Russian court for child support. If you will try to sabotage Russian child support order, enforcement officer will able to issue travel ban against you. However, since you live outside of Russia, it will not create problem for you.

If some day she decides to get married, it will be not affect you, unless case of adoption.

Considering your circumstances, I do not think it is good idea for you to marry her and unconditionally agreed for paternity. For my opinion, it will make your life more complicated than you now have.

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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