Welcome to Family Law and Divorce in Russia

This website is designed as an entry point for those
needing legal assistance and seeks to make their dealings
with Russian family law and divorce law as easy as
possible. Whether it be marriage, parental matters,
marriage property settlements, prenuptial agreement,
marriage contract, spouse support, child support or
divorce procedure, this website will serve you as a guide
on various aspects of Russian family law,
separation and divorce.
Catherine Heath
Barrister, Doctor of Law


Divorce Procedure
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.

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.


Child custody and parental rights and responsibilities:
Russian courts have authority to hear child custody, parental
responsibility and other matters concerning parental rights
and duties, that involve foreign nationals if:
the defendant parent has a place of residence in Russia;
the defendant parent has property in Russia;
in child support and paternity matters the plaintiff is a
Russian resident.
It is possible that the case could potentially be heard by
courts in various jurisdictions. There will be pros and cons to
those options, which should be discussed with your lawyer.

I have been practicing as a Russian family lawyer, solicitor and
barrister, for over 14 years, specializing in international family law
matters. For many years I’ve been a member of the IAML, a
worldwide association of practicing family lawyers who are
recognized by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family
law specialists in their respective countries. I have high qualifications
in Russian and Australian law, the latter bearing a lot of similarities
with the UK and the US Family law. I’ve practiced law and appeared
in courts in Russia and abroad as a barrister and legal expert in
Russian law, including the Supreme Court of Russia, the Family
Court of Australia, the High Court of the UK, High Court of
Netherlands and other.

Russian Divorce and Family Law is, generally, more liberal than the Western
Family Law. However, the Russian legal system can be complicated, while language
barriers can make it hard to deal with.

I work with both foreign and Russian clients; the international side of my practice
sees me acting primarily as a Russian family lawyer where one party or both are
foreign nationals. My services extend to the following aspects of Russian Family
Law: financial agreements, commonly known as pre-nuptial or post-nuptial
agreements, complex multijurisdictional property cases, parental matters, including
children relocation, child support and spouse maintenance, inheritance and related
fields of law.


Russian Lawyer. Divorce Attorney. International Family Lawyer

I provide services as a family lawyer and divorce attorney since 2000 when I was
admitted to practice as a Russian lawyer, the member of the Bar Chamber of the
Moscow Region. In 2005 i also joined the Moscow Bar of Arbitration Lawyers. In 2007
I became a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a worldwide
association of practicing family lawyers who are recognized by their peers as the most
experienced and skilled divorce attorneys and family law specialists in their respective
I speak both, Russian and English languages. While my area of expertise includes various
aspects of Family law, Civil, Property, Tax and Inheritance law, the major part of my
work deals with international family law cases, complex property
settlements, prenuptial agreements and children matters, including international child
abduction cases.

Contact info :
Pechatnikov Pereulok 22,
Moscow 107045
Tel: +7499 6 776 667
Tel: +44208 1 444 727 (UK)
Email: info@divorceinrussia.com
Fax.: +7 495 6287839