Family Law Services

If You wish to ...

  • Contract a marriage, but the parents will not give consent...
  • Know how to address the issues related to divorce and family arrangement when contracting a marriage ...
  • Divorce but do not know when it is better to do that in order to have trumps in hand when dividing the property acquired in marriage ...
  • Obtain a divorce in the absence of the spouse that "eloped" ...
  • Separate the property of spouses in the best interests of the children...
  • Settle a dispute of where the children will live after divorce ...
  • See the children whom You are prohibited to meet with ...
  • Claim for child maintenance since it is not provided voluntarily ...
  • Reimburse the costs incurred by You in child health care ... or
  • Recover adult child maintenance ...

Most of the above issues are interrelated, which is clearly described below.

One can find facts in a divorce case that will require no proofs with respect to the spouses' property division. For example, divorce proceedings find that the spouses have been living severally and have not been keeping house together for a few years. The property acquired by each of the spouses for that period will be deemed to be private property of the husband or wife in the property division proceedings. The fact of when the marital relationship actually terminated will not require proofs.  

A family consists of people who live together and share household activities and the rights and obligations.

The family is created on the basis of marriage, kinship, adoption, or otherwise as permitted by law and in conformity with the social morals. Thus, men and women who are actually in marital relationships also constitute a family, provided that such relationships meet the above criteria.

Marriage is the matrimonial union of man and woman registered with the General Register Office.  

Cohabitation of man and woman does not create any spousal rights or obligations. Nevertheless, the property acquired by the man and woman who are not in marriage between each other or otherwise, is the same common property as the spousal one.  

 

The law prescribes that any property acquired by the spouses while in marriage is their marital co-ownership. "Co-ownership" hereby means that no shares of each of the spouses are specified and no registration of titles (e.g. apartment title) for both spouses is required.  

It is presumed that any object acquired in the said period is co-owned, so the party demanding that the property be divided shall be bound to prove that the marriage exists and that the dividable object is owned by the spouses (one or both spouses may be specified in the title as the owner) and was acquired during the period of marriage, while the other party shall bear the burden of proof of the circumstances evidencing that the property may not be divided.  

In each particular case of property division, one needs to analyze the property titles, conditions of its acquisition and documents evidencing same. For example, parents very often give presents to their adult children who are married, but "forget" to duly complete the relevant documents. This leads to a situation in which their adult child, when dividing property, becomes unable to prove that the object actually given to him/her is truly a gift and may not be divided.  

For instance, no court will trace any relations between the sale by parents of an item and the purchase by an adult child of another item even if the dates and sums substantiate that the parents have transferred the monies to their child.

The marriage is terminated if one of the spouses demises or if they divorce.  

The spouses without children (minors) may divorce with the General Register Office upon mutual request. This requires the consent of both parties for divorce. No property dispute shall affect the ability of getting divorced with the General Register Office.  

In the event that any of the parties gives no consent for divorce, divorce is done in court. In this case one needs to file a claim as required by the civil procedural legislation.

The marriage shall be deemed to be terminated on the date the judgment of divorce enters into full force and effect. However, the former spouses have to register their divorce with the General Register Office and to obtain a certificate of divorce. This is necessary when one of the former spouses wishes to remarry.

Parents are bound to maintain their children until those become full-aged, or until the child graduates from higher school if he/she pursues studies and so needs support, but not more than up to 23 years of age.

It is worth noting that the deprivation of parental rights shall not release from the obligation to sustain the child, i.e. to pay alimony.

If the parents split up amicably and retained good relationships, alimony is paid voluntarily without formalizing the obligations to pay by entering into agreements or by court determinations.  

Yet one should not rely on good relationships for quite a long time until the child becomes full-aged or graduates from higher school. Any of the parties can fall victim to unfair practices committed by the other one. For example, an alimony payer may cease paying or at his/her own discretion, change the amount and dates of alimony payment or suddenly start buying things that are hardly ever needed instead of making payments. The payee should "forget" that the alimony is paid and go to court claiming for enforcement.  

To avoid such situations, one needs to complete an alimony agreement specifying the amount of alimony, how it may be changed, how and when it shall be paid, and how it shall be acknowledged.  

Such agreement is made in writing and is certified. If the alimony payer fails to perform his/her obligation to pay, the alimony may be recovered by a notary's executory endorsement In that case applying to court is optional.

In the event that no alimony agreement is available and the payer fails to pay the alimony, the issue is handled at law. However, one should remember that alimony is awarded by court as of the date of filing the claim. It may be recovered for the previous period only when it is proved that the payee took recovery actions but could not receive any alimony because the payer evaded paying same.  

The amount of alimony is then determined by court with due regard to the health conditions and financial standing of the child and the alimony payer and to whether the alimony payer has other children or dependents. It may be expressed as percentage of the alimony payer's salary or as a lump sum. The latter is an exception rather than a standard. Alimony is expressed as a lump sum if the payer earns an irregular and variable income or earns an income partially in kind.  

The amount of alimony depends not only on a child's needs, but also on the payer's capacity to pay same. If the alimony payer earns no income, the court determines that the amount of alimony be reduced to minimum. The parent with whom the child lives will then bear the burden of child maintenance.  

However, that parent reserves the right to recover additional contingency costs from the other parent (development of abilities, diseases, etc.). The amount of contribution by each parent is determined by court, and additional costs may not necessarily be allocated equally.

 

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