According to variouis statistics sources, Russia is included in the top 10 Countries with the highest divorce rate. Belarus, Ukraine have one of the worst divorce rates in the world as well. Despite the "demography projects" of Russian government aiming to increase birth rate, support the family and parenthood, Russia's divorce rate remains increasingly high.
The figures provided by Russian state statistics service Rosstat are depressing. In the first quarter of 2011 there were 185 959 marriages and 153 405 divorces registered in Russia. Alcohol and drugs abuse has been cited as a major cause of the partial disintegration of the family unit. Other main reasons for Russian divorces are poor housing conditions and poor financial conditions, in-laws' interference and childlessness.
Infidelity and family violence are not stated as the main reasons for divorce, even though available statistics on domestic violence against Russian women is even more terrifying. Russian sociologists blame financial crisis, growing independency of Russian women and gender equality. Psychologists complain that the family life and marriage is rated low in the priority list of young people nowadays. Modern Russian family portrait can partially explain the decreasing of marriage popularity among nation's females.
Compared to a number of Western countries a divorce procedure in Russia is formally easier. Besides, Russia is certainly not a female-friendly place for divorce as Russian women and children have poor divorce rights. Formal dissolution of marriage (divorce) takes place when one of the spouses or both of them file an official request for divorce in the local vital statistics office (ZAGS). An out-of-court divorce is normally granted within a month.
The court's procedure usually includes a period of reflection and consideration for up to three months. Still, where there is no complex dispute over property or children, the process is usually ended within six months. When only one spouse desires divorce, the couple may opt for a court hearing. However, if either spouse refuses to air private difficulties in court, the judge's only option is to give the couple three months to reconcile. After three months, the divorce is granted even if only one spouse wants it. A husband cannot initiate a divorce during the pregnancy of his wife and within a year after the birth without her consent.
The children may stay with either their mother or father but it's more common for mothers to keep bringing them up. Moreover the Russian legal system typically views the best option for a child as remaining with their mother, especially for an underage child who is unable to express their opinion on the matter before a court. A new Family code that operates in Russian since 1996 was partially modeled after the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
According to Russian Family law a child from the age of 10 has a right to voice his opinion in court when the issue of custody is being decided. The child custody battles involving divorce attorneys from the both sides are rare in Russia and these loud cases we know of from the mass media mainly involve celebrities and the people in power. In contrast to many countries, in Russia a court rarely gives joint custody over a child and the court's role is limited to decisions regarding custody and protection of children's property interests. Child custody and visitation issues are usually a subject of oral agreement between the ex-spouses, if this is insufficient written agreement is possible.
In general, Family Law in Russia does not provide for direct alimony payments to a second spouse (it is different from the child support issues) irrespective of their education or work experience and the impact of the marriage dissolution on their lifestyle. The exceptions take place when a spouse is disabled, pregnant; raising a child under the age of three; caring for a disabled child; set to reach pension age within five years or if the marriage has lasted a long period of time.
An exact formula to calculate the support rate for a spouse is not suggested by Family Law, thus this issue is left to the judge's discretion. The parent living away from the child (it is usually a father in Russia) helps support his children till they turn 18 years old-the age when a child is considered and adult in Russia. The support comes in the form of monthly payments called "алименты" (alimony). The Family Code requires that child support in a Russian divorce be 25% of net monthly income for one child, 33% of net monthly income for two children and 50% of net monthly income for three or more children.
Unlike many Western countries where a man and a woman unite their assets entering a marriage and this becomes a joint property, Russian divorce law determines that the joint property includes assets purchased during the marriage and thus becomes a subject of property division in case of divorce. No matter whether one spouse did not work at all during the marriage or both spouses worked equally for the money.
The assets or monies received without payment like a gift or inheritance remains sole ownership of the property in the event of a divorce in Russia, even if the property was used by the whole family during the marriage. Therefore Russian couples do not always apply to a divorce lawyer as determination of a marital share and the property division issues are much easier in Russia.
According to Russian Family Law Marital contract (Pre-nuptial agreement) can be signed before or during the marriage. However it can only regulate financial issues between a husband and a wife.
All financial and other issues relating to children, their upbringing, financial support and so forth cannot be regulated by such a contract under Russian divorce law and require a separate agreement. Pre-nuptial agreements are still rare in Russia.
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