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Dissolution of marriage you entered in abroad

    You can dissolve a marriage in Russia that was concluded in another country in a Russian court. The Family Code of the Russian Federation recognizes the validity of a marriage concluded on the territory of another state.

    The process can be complicated by some points:

- marriage certificate issued by the competent authority of a foreign state
-the marriage certificate is not in Russian
- the respondent does not live on the territory of the Russian Federation

    Let's take a closer look:

1. A marriage certificate issued in another country requires legalization (affixing an apostille), without this it is impossible to go to court and it will not be considered evidence in court (this requirement is specified in part 4 of article 71 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation).

    There are 2 types of legalization of a foreign document: consular legalization and apostille (i.e. affixing an apostille).

The type of legalization is required for you depends on which country the document was issued.

Apostille is a simplified type of legalization, which is the affixing of the “Apostille” stamp on a document by the competent authority of the country that issued the document. The apostille confirms that it was drawn up on the territory of the country by the relevant body or official. You need to apostille the document that was issued in a country that has ratified the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 "abolishing the requirements for the legalization of foreign official documents."
Accordingly, documents issued in the following countries must be apostilled: Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Albania, American Samoa, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Netherlands Antilles, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bulgaria , Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, British Antarctic Territory, American Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Vanuatu, Great Britain, Hungary, Venezuela, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Germany, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Honduras, Grenada, Greece, Georgia, Guam, Denmark, Jersey, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Israel, India, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Cape Verde, Kazakhstan, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, PRC, Macau (Macau), Hong Kong (Xianggang), Colombia, Republic of Korea, Islands Cook, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mayotte, Macedonia, Malawi Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montserrat, Isle of Man, Namib Oia, Netherlands, Niue, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Russia, Romania, El Salvador, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland, Saint Helena island, Northern Mariana Islands, Seychelles, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, USA, Suriname, Turks and Caicos, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago , Turkey, Ukraine, Wallis and Futuna, Fiji, Finland, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), France, French Polynesia, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Ecuador, Estonia, South Africa, Japan.

Consular legalization is a procedure for confirming the signature of the person who drew up the document, and if the document is stamped by an official body, then certification of the correctness of the seal.

   This is a more complex process that takes place in two stages:

First stage: the documents are submitted by the applicant to the authorized consular office in the country where the document was created.

Second stage: the document is legalized in the diplomatic mission of the country where the document was created, in the state where you are going to apply this document.

Countries that have not signed the Hague Convention and which require consular legalization of the document: Abkhazia, Algeria, Angola, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Vatican, East Timor, Vietnam, Gabon, Haiti, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea -Bissau, Djibouti, Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Qatar, Kenya, Kiribati, People's Republic of China, PRC, Comoros, Comoros, Congo, Cote d ' Yvoire, Cuba, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Maldives, Micronesia, Federated States of Micronesia, Mozambique, Myanma, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Pakistan Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Singapore, Syria, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Taiwan, Tanzania, Togo, Togolez Republic, Tuvalu, Turkmenistan, Republic of Agrarian, Republic of Afghanistan Sri Lanka, Equatorial Gui Ney, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Ossetia, South Sudan.

2. The marriage certificate must be translated into Russian and the authenticity of the translation must be notarized.

   Legal proceedings in Russia are conducted only in Russian. A document drawn up in a foreign language must be submitted to the court in a translated and notarized form (according to part 2 of article 408 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation).

   You must have the original of the marriage certificate, the translation and the stamp of the notary who certified the translation.

   You can order the translation of any document from us by sending an application by e-mail, writing: your full name, contact phone number, scanned document.

3. To which court shall you file for divorce if the spouse is a citizen of a foreign state?

How does the court notify the foreign defendant about filing a claim if the place of residence of the foreign spouse is not known?

   The statement of claim is filed with the magistrate's court according to the last known address of the place of residence of the foreign spouse on the territory of the Russian Federation, or at the location of the property of the foreign citizen. (part 1 of article 29 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation)

The spouse may not come to the court session and not send a response to the statement of claim.   But if the court receives information that the defendant is not registered at the place of residence on the territory of the Russian Federation and is a citizen of another country, then the court will apply to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation to send a request to submit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a notice for the foreign defendant about the trial.

   A court notice of the trial will be sent to the foreign spouse even if he currently resides in the territory of another state.

Also our other articles may be useful to you:
- How to apostille documents?
- How to divide foreign property acquired together in marriage?

Should you have any questions or you are in need of legal aid in Russia, do not hesitate to contact us:
Tel: +7 909 961-19-09
Visit us: Moscow, Zubovskiy bulvar, building 4, room 308
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