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UK Court Declines to Recognise Divorce Granted by the Russian Consulate in London

A very interesting recent judgement by the Royal Court of Justice (UK). Munby J declined to recognise the validity of divorce of the Solovyovs spouses granted by the Russian Consulate in London.

The marriage was registered in Russia in 2002 and terminated in London in April 2012. The divorce was granted in accordance with the Family Code of Russia and other relevant Russian law by the Russia Consulate office in London.

Since receiving the certificate, the former Mrs. Solovyov remarried in the United States and remained in the UK on a spousal visa. The husband remarried as well, however, the British authorities refused to recognise his new marriage on the basis that the divorce has not been legally finalised as far as the laws of England a Wales were concerned.

Whilst the court accepted that the divorce certificate complies with all necessary requirements of Russian Family law according to the expert (Dr. Kalashnikova) report, the judge ruled the marriage termination was not entitled to recognition under section 46 of the Family Law Act 1986. Thus the couple is still considered a husband and a wife in the UK.

The full text of the court decision Solovyev v Solovyeva [2014] EWFC 1546 (15 May 2014) is published at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2014/1546.html

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