The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
Переклад цього матеріалу українською мовою з російської було автоматично здійснено сервісом Google Translate, без подальшого редагування тексту.
Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

Everything you need to know about divorce in the USA

Russian woman Marina Daleo is going through a difficult divorce and a custody battle for her two-year-old son. The 34-year-old woman says that her husband, American Joseph Daleo, brought a new passion to the house the very next day after the breakup, and now wants to take away their common son Vincent. Marina, who now lives in Florida, is afraid that the American justice will be more favorable to the US citizen, and not to the owner of a completely fresh green card. ForumDaily figured out the situation with divorce in America and asked lawyer Carina Duval clarify the nuances concerning international divorces.

The Daleo family before the divorce in November 2014. Photo by Elena Kukhareva

“At the very beginning of our acquaintance, everything looked so beautiful that I didn't even want to think about the documents,” says Marina. “Without delving into it at all and without hesitation, I signed a marriage contract, because I really didn’t need anything from him except love, fidelity and a long, happy life.”

Three and a half years later, when the divorce proceedings began, the Russian woman found out that Joseph had three marriages behind him, the third wife was also Russian, Svetlana, and Marina contacted her by phone. “[Ex-wife] Svetlana said that she didn’t want to hear anything about our common husband, she hated him so much. Suddenly it turned out that thanks to her, Joseph ended up in prison for several months. As I understood, he started to let go of his hands, ”says Marina.

Marina says that Joseph beat her too, and she even filed a complaint with the police. And because of not enough good knowledge of laws and language, she signed papers for divorce, without looking.

In the middle of the night, he took his son, and his secretary arrived at lunch and said that I should go to the office and sign the divorce papers. Husband on the phone popularly explained that I would no longer see my son ... I almost had a swoon. Of course, I signed what I slipped. Already, I understand that it was necessary to contact the police.

Two days later, Marina agreed to leave their common home in an apartment in another city, which she had rented to her ex-husband. Now Joseph pays her only 300 dollars per month. Marina says she went to these conditions for fear that her husband will take away her son.

The question of custody of a two-year-old child was decided in court last week. The burden of educating Vincent was divided in half, but with one nuance. Joseph requested a psychiatric examination of the ex-wife. It did not come to that, but the court decided to make sure that the mother does not pose a threat to the child, and when they communicate they must attend a witness.

Now Marina has already hired lawyer Bruce Prober, having borrowed about five thousand dollars from relatives from Russia. She expects to have to spend on judicial red tape at least as much, but in case of winning these costs will fall on her ex-husband.

Marina Daleo with children. Photo of Facebook.

Marina Daleo with children. Photo of Facebook.

Divorce does not spare anyone, regardless of faith, skin color, belonging to an elite society or a certain citizenship. This is probably why a kind of "triangle" has developed in society - He, She and ... the state. In any country, there is a special section of legislation regulating the topics of family relations in case of conflict.

The United States ranks first in the world among developed countries by the number of divorces per capita. Wherein two-thirds The initiators of divorces here are women.

This is not counting those cases when the husband formally files for divorce, but the partner's behavior, for example, treason, became a good reason. Despite the fact that in Russia the court strictly adheres to the letter of the law, and in the United States it is guided by case law, that is, previous court decisions, these countries have a lot in common.

What are the features of America

In Russia (and in the entire post-Soviet space) there is a Family Code, where all procedures are spelled out, in the USA there is no single federal law regarding marriage and divorce, in all fifty states the laws are different.

However, historically it has developed on both sides of the ocean that in most cases the state system takes the side of the mother-woman. In the absence of children, the outlook on the female “lot” is less straightforward. A “Russian” bride who is married to a foreigner is often viewed as a frivolous person, yearning for money, position, residence permit, especially if there are no children in the marriage.

The child is the indisputable “material evidence” of the seriousness of intentions. It is on the childish issue that most of the court battles are played out. In the post-Soviet space, the sympathies of judges and officials are most often on the side of women, because the majority of judges are women. Among prosecutors there are almost half of women, and in guardianship and guardianship bodies - about 90%. With such a powerful help, it is quite simple to win against men who are not called “dogs” in these circles.

The position of men is brightened up only by the national peculiarities of Russian justice, that is, the opportunity to “resolve” the situation. A former husband with good financial capabilities and a sufficiently high level of hatred towards his opponent is able to destroy women's mutual responsibility and very effectively take away almost all property, and children in addition.


In America, it will not be possible to solve the situation through corruption, but sympathy is also on the mother's side. A truly gigantic market of lawyers has been created here, who specialize not only in consulting, but also accompany divorce exclusively on the male or female side. Various tricks are used, including very cynical ones - for example, to wait several years with a divorce, so that it turns out that the couple has been married for a decade, and then the property is divided equally.

How long does it take?

Experts advise not to get excited and not go for a divorce immediately at the behest of the heart, but to collect documents and other evidence that will be useful in court. At this stage, not very clean lawyers can also help to hide the sources of income. Unlike the post-Soviet space, in the United States, such experiments can lead to prison, but even this does not bother some daredevils.

It is worth remembering a few important rules - for example, you have 20 days to respond to a divorce petition, otherwise everything can be resolved without you.

If there are no funds for a lawyer, then at your request the court can oblige your opponent to pay you a lawyer.

There must be grounds for this, for example, a woman raised children during a marriage and led a household without being able to work.

The expense of only one party for lawyers ranges from 10 to 30 thousand dollars. In cases of the divorce of millionaires, and even with the division of expensive property, the amount of attorney fees exceeds a hundred thousand dollars.

The divorce procedure may take several years, especially if the division of property and custody of minor children is resolved.

According to the official StatisticsIn the United States, more than one million divorces per year are registered. According to books publicist Nikolai ZlobinAlimony is paid by about 8 million Americans, 84% of whom are men, and their total annual amount is about $ 50 billion.

Will a divorce prevent citizenship?

American men often prefer to marry foreign women, especially from the countries of the former USSR. Perhaps this is due to the increasing feminization of American women. But do not forget that the immigration issue can be used for blackmail.

There is a stereotype that an immigrant has fewer rights than a citizen, and everything depends on the partner - a US citizen and his desire to bring immigration cases to the end. As a result, the immigrant partner prefers not to seek help from government agencies.

However, dependence on a spouse in obtaining legal status in the United States is not total, you can completely do without it.

The law provides for three exceptions:

  • domestic violence or abuse (for example, a foreign wife proves that her American husband beat her);
  • possible serious damage or difficulties in case of deportation (for example, the wife is sick and, if she is deported, there will be a threat to her health - and she will be legalized);
  • if the divorce is not the fault of the wife (for example, the wife proves that her husband has changed her).

In America, even the following facts can be considered “cruel treatment”:

  • deprivation of access to family budget information and the ability to dispose of it;
  • attitude to his wife as a servant;
  • humiliation of human dignity;
  • cruelty to your beloved wife pets.

It is important to remember that the procedure for divorce and immigration matters are usually not related to each other. Except when it is proven that the marriage was originally bogus.

How to divide money and property, alimony

In most states, the courts divide property according to the principle of justice and are not necessarily equal. The court takes into account many individual factors - age, how many years the marriage lasted, who worked and who kept the household, the health status of the spouses, the ability of everyone to earn money in the future.

Strictly in half, as in Russia, jointly acquired property divide only in nine states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Luisina, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico. In other states, such as New York and Florida, the judge decides how to divide.

The general rule is: property received before marriage, as well as inheritance and gifts are not subject to division.

The essence of alimony in America is the one who earned money, and further supports the one who did not earn it. Alimony should provide the former spouse with approximately the same standard of living as during the marriage. For example, if the wife studied or was seriously ill during the marriage, then the ex-spouse, as a rule, will have to pay for her education further, as well as treatment. Here the United States is very different from Russia, where child support is paid only to children. If the woman remarries, the ex-husband is exempt from child support.

Often, child support is practically ruining American men.

53-year-old businessman Douglas Wells from Miami says he survived three divorces and now lives on 30 thousands of dollars a year, handing out half a million to his children and ex-wives.

Children's question

In relation to children, the state proceeds from the fact that the child should be able to communicate and receive care and support from both parents.

In the question of who a child should live with, the courts take into account the child's emotional attachment. The priority is given to the parent who devoted most of the time to the child during the period of living as a single family (criteria - taking care of hygiene procedures, food, clothing, transfer of writing and reading skills, health care).

In most cases, the child remains with the mother, especially if it is a girl, and a small one. The child’s desire is taken into account if he or she is older than 12 years (in the states of Georgia and West Virginia - 14 years).

Marriage contract and civil marriage

Many spouses have high hopes for a marriage contract. However, the American court can change it, considering it unfair. For example, if the judge decides that the contract is bonded for one of the spouses, it will be revised in favor of the other.

Some couples prefer to live in a so-called “civil marriage”, hoping to avoid legal problems. In the United States, as in Russia, the state does not consider civil marriage to be a real marriage. And in the event of a divorce, everyone will remain with their property. In the event of a serious conflict between the spouses, it will be almost impossible to get help from the state, which is especially fraught in the absence of consent on the issue of custody of children. And, of course, if one of the spouses is a foreigner, problems cannot be avoided from the immigration authorities.

Update: Attorney Karina Duval in the comment ForumDaily explained the main nuances of international divorces.

International divorces have a great advantage over local marriages, because in the case of divorce they allow spouses to choose jurisdiction, that is, the place where, in the opinion of one of the spouses, the divorce will be most favorable.

Russian legislation, in particular, allows the choice of jurisdiction. It is possible to dissolve a marriage in Russia in the event that one of the parties has Russian citizenship.

Contrary to popular belief, to break up a marriage in Russia is possible even when the marriage is registered in the United States. Marriages concluded outside the territory of the Russian Federation in compliance with the laws of the state in whose territory they are concluded are recognized as valid in the Russian Federation if there are no circumstances preventing the conclusion of the marriage.

Documents issued in accordance with foreign law in a prescribed form outside the Russian Federation are accepted by the courts in the Russian Federation in the presence of legalization. Legalization is understood as an apostille, affixed in accordance with the 1961 Hague Convention. Documents drawn up in a foreign language must be submitted to the courts in the Russian Federation with a duly certified translation into Russian.

A citizen of the Russian Federation residing outside the territory of the Russian Federation has the right to dissolve a marriage with a spouse living outside the territory of the Russian Federation in a court of the Russian Federation.

Cases of divorce, in which there is a dispute over children and / or property, are under jurisdiction of the district court.

Russian legislation stipulates that when a marriage is dissolved in a court, the spouses may submit to the court an agreement on which of them the minor children will live, on the procedure for paying funds for the maintenance of children and / or the disabled spouse, on the amount of these funds or on section of common property of spouses. Agreements between the parties approved by a court are usually accepted and recognized by foreign courts without question.

Very often in legal and legal circles there are questions about whether a divorce in Russia will be recognized abroad, in particular in the United States, provided that both spouses live in the United States.

Like marriages, foreign divorces are usually recognized in the USA.

I applied the clause “usually”, that is, “as a rule”, because the recognition of each foreign divorce is individual, and guarantees in jurisprudence, as in medicine, are unacceptable. For example, a divorce executed without notifying the second spouse of an American court may not be recognized, since in order to recognize a foreign divorce a basic principle must be observed - ensuring access to justice. If access to justice for the second party was not secured, and the rights of this party were violated upon divorce, the court may not recognize such a divorce.

But it happens in a different way. In my practice, there was an amazing case when a husband (living in the USA) divorced his wife (living in the USA) in Moscow without informing her of this fact. She did not receive a summons and did not know about the lawsuit initiated by her husband. Upon his return to the United States, there were many advisers who told her husband that "the decision of the Russian court to divorce is nonsense and has no legal force." The lawyer, to whom our hero went for a consultation, adhered to the same point of view, and they decided that they would divorce a new one in an American court. However, in court his wife said that she did not dispute the Russian divorce, and regardless of whether the court sent her a summons or not, she recognizes him. During the time that has passed since the termination of family relations, she managed to get an education (the results of which are monetized in the United States and can be divided according to the rules for the division of property) and acquired an apartment in Manhattan. The husband decided that it would be nice to divide it, and his argument was that the divorce was not real, he could not be admitted. The American judge in his decision indicated that since the respondent recognized the results of the Russian divorce, the court would not assess the legality of the procedure. As a result, the court denied her husband a lawsuit: both in divorce and in the division of property.

If you feel that your family is bursting at the seams, do not expect a climax, think about it. Weigh the situation, evaluate all the pros and cons. For professional legal advice on international divorces, you can contact a lawyer, Karine Duval:

Attorney registration: # 78 / 857
NYS registration: 4775086
Notary public, registration: 02DU6376542

tel. in the USA: + 1 (212) -205-2211,

tel. in Russia: + 7 (495) 662-8721,




Read also on ForumDaily:

Michigan resident hit jackpot during divorce and now owes $ 15 million to ex-wife

Russian woman who took her children out of the United States was given seven years in prison

What you need to know about divorce in the United States

Participation in the lottery green card and marriage: is it possible to change the marital status in the process of drawing and receiving a green card

lawyer children Florida divorce spouses Educational program Editor's Choice
Subscribe to ForumDaily on Google News

1166 requests in 2,339 seconds.