Why to Divorce in Russia?
The Russian family law provides for two types of the marriage termination procedure: judicial and administrative.
The administrative divorce is granted by the Civil Acts Registration Office (commonly known as ZAGS). It is generally available to those couples who do not have minor children of the relationship and have reached a mutual agreement to divorce.
The judicial procedure of marriage termination applies in all cases where the couple has children under the age of 18; or when the husband or the wife contests the divorce; or when one of them is unwilling or unable to lodge a joint divorce application with the Civil Acts Registration Office.
Should You Apply to a Russian Court to Get Divorced?
A Russian court will accept a divorce application if either of the following applies:
Please note that in your particular case divorce may be subject to more than one jurisdiction, in other words, you may have a choice whether to apply to a Russian court or some other court outside of the Russian Federation. It is recommended that you discuss advantages and disadvantages of each with a lawyer to make the best choice.
Restrictions on Making a Divorce Application
If the divorce proceedings have already been issued in a different jurisdiction, and are pending the hearing or have been heard, court may dismiss the divorce application.
Another important limitation is that an application to divorce cannot be filed during the wife’s pregnancy and until the child becomes one year of age, unless the wife agrees to that or files the divorce application herself.
Grounds for Divorce
Under the Russian family law, the irretrievable breakdown of marriage is the only ground for divorce. A marriage is dissolved if it has been established that the spouses are unable to live together and preserve the family. The court on the application of one of the spouses may give the parties a cooling off period of up to 3 months. However, if upon its expiration one of the parties still insists on a divorce, the court will terminate the marriage.
More on Russian divorce:
Recognition of a Foreign Divorce
A foreign divorce carried out in compliance with the legal requirements of a respective foreign state will be recognised in Russia. Importantly, the marriage dissolved abroad must not contradict the principles of the Russian family law.