How does divorce work?

All about family divorce.

Divorce is a stressful situation during which the emotional state of the spouses becomes an obstacle to any of their actions. There are different ways to dissolve a marriage, the order and conditions of which are regulated by law.

The choice of a particular way depends on the desire for divorce in both spouses, common minor children and expensive property. Let’s try to understand the procedure and the requirements imposed on it by the state.

Divorce through the Registry Office – the fastest and most unproblematic way

Its conditions are:

  • absence of common minor children (common by blood, jointly adopted, as well as adopted by the second spouse).
  • the Absence of jointly acquired property with a value of more than 100 thousand r.;
  • presence of a mutual desire to divorce;
  • recognition of one of the spouses as missing, dead or convicted for more than 3 years.

The age of majority is 18 years old, with the exception of children undergoing emancipation proceedings. A person can be declared fully capable and of legal age at the age of 16 if he or she has a personal source of income.

Divorce proceedings take place at the place of registration of the spouses (if they are registered separately) or at the registry office where the marriage was registered.

If all the documents were collected correctly and there are no formal grounds for refusal, the termination of marriage – 30 days.

Divorce through the courts – a difficult and often necessary decision

In all cases that do not meet the requirements for divorce through the registry office (presence of children or property disputes), the process of divorce is formalized through the courts. If both spouses want a divorce, the procedure is much quicker.

Regardless of the situation, court proceedings usually last more than one and less than six months.

The following steps are taken in the court process:

  • It is decided with which of the spouses the child(ren) will live;
  • Property rights are distributed (division of property);
  • the need for payment of alimony and its size;
  • the issue of the possibility of divorce is considered.

In court proceedings, the dissolution of marriage will be denied if the claim is filed by a husband whose wife is pregnant or has a child under the age of one year.

A time for reconciliation (not more than three months) may be granted on application. Most often, divorce proceedings are heard by the courts in the place of residence, although it is possible to divorce through a justice of the peace (if there is an agreement).

How to file for divorce – traditional and modern ways

To initiate divorce proceedings through the registry office, husband and wife must come together to file a joint petition. If one of the spouses is unable to come in person, his or her notarized consent must be provided in writing.

You may use the services of a multifunctional center or file for divorce online instead of personally appearing to submit the documents.

It is best to bring a package of documents collected in person in advance, although it can also be sent by mail. Usually some papers are missing, so the court will demand them during the session.

A list of necessary documents can be found in each court, which deals with divorce proceedings or in the appropriate section.

Children during a parent’s divorce. Respecting the rights of the child

When a couple has common children, the court protects the property rights of the child and decides which parent he or she will feel more comfortable staying with after the divorce.

The property of the children is not divided between the spouses and includes gifts (toys, clothing, appliances, household and interior items such as a bed, stroller, furniture), as well as items purchased independently with scholarships, grants, or gift money.

Division of children in a divorce (if there is a dispute) is one of the most painful issues and is resolved only in a court of law (district court).

If the spouses have reached an agreement about where your son or daughter will live, you can file for divorce with a justice of the peace.

When deciding where the children will live in the future, several factors are taken into account:

  • The opinion of the child, if he or she is already 10 years old. The wish is not decisive, as the court considers other, more objective and weighty circumstances;
  • The financial condition of the parents, although there is no clear criterion sufficient for a final decision. The father’s high income does not automatically guarantee that the children will move into his custody, nor can the mother’s low income be the sole reason for refusal;
  • Relationships of children in the family and their attachment to each other;
  • work schedule of the parents, their social circle;
  • Other objective circumstances that may come to light during the trial.

Read more about respecting children’s rights here.

Agreement about children in divorce proceedings

The best way to reach an agreement on the future place of residence of children, their maintenance and upbringing is a written agreement. Drawing up this document is the right of parents, not an obligation.

Typically, spouses who do not see the point in preventing their children from communicating with their mother or father come to an agreement.

The children’s agreement greatly simplifies the divorce process, because it minimizes court arguments. The agreement is first drawn up in draft form, which is then presented to the judge.

Even such a draft should be notarized to confirm the firmness of the parties’ intentions.

If the agreement contains conditions that are acceptable for the full development of the child, then it is taken into account and comes into effect by court decision. If the parties fail to comply with the terms of the agreement, they may be subject to coercive measures.

How much does a divorce cost?

The cost of the procedure is made up of two figures – the amount of state duty and the associated costs.

When filing an application for divorce in the Registry Office the state duty makes 650 rubles (since January 1, 2022).

Payment is made through a Bank or self-service terminals, and the details can be found on the websites of the relevant departments.

Legal services in a divorce are much more expensive and necessary if there are disputes about the division of property and respect for the rights of the child. Legal advice will cost from 1 thousand r. and the preparation of statements of claim or appeal of the decision of the court – from 5 thousand r.

The larger the size of the property to be divided, the more tangible the cost of legal services. In regional centers and small cities, you can get by with minimal costs, whereas in big cities the amounts spent on divorce are very significant.

Read more about how much a divorce costs in this article.

What documents are needed for a divorce?

To formalize the procedure through the registry office, you need to prepare:

    from both spouses. The best way is to fill it out in the presence of a registry clerk, although alternative ways of filing are allowed (see above);
  • Marriage certificate. The document confirming the divorce (divorce certificate) is issued only after it has been filed;
  • A receipt for payment of state duty, or a receipt from a self-service machine.

If one of the spouses submits documents (if the other spouse has been declared missing, deceased, incapacitated or has been sentenced for more than 3 years), a respective court decision shall be attached.

Any of the above reasons may only be confirmed by a court decision. No certificates from other instances will be taken into account.

For a judicial review of the case, the following is needed:

  • A statement of claim;
  • Certificate of birth of a child;
  • Extract from the house book;
  • A receipt about payment of state duty.

This list is far from complete, as different courts may have different approaches to handling such cases.

You can read more about the documents for divorce through the court in this article.

The basics of division of property in a divorce

The main subjects of property disputes in a division are movable and immovable property, as well as common debts. Initially, the court focuses on the equality of shares of the spouses in jointly acquired property.

Such disputes are settled regardless of the presence of children, although the appropriateness of transferring certain items to the spouse raising the child may be taken into consideration.

Since it is difficult for both spouses to use the same apartment (see “Dividing an Apartment during Divorce”), car (see “Dividing a Car during Divorce”), or dacha after divorce, it is recommended to initially coordinate the transfer of property rights.

One option to legally avoid paying alimony is to transfer the apartment to the use of the wife with whom the children remain (with her subsequent waiver of alimony).

Debts and loans owned equally by the husband and wife are often divided equally. If the loan was taken out by one spouse before the marriage, the property division issue will be quite complicated. This is due to the purchase and joint use of property purchased with borrowed funds, a special case of which is a mortgage in a divorce.

Without an agreement between the spouses, the process of division can be very lengthy and costly.

How do I survive a divorce?

The question of returning to normal life after divorce is a delicate and ambiguous one. No strict criteria can be applied to it, because the person is individual and immune to monotonous stamps. Let’s try to give only general tips that may be useful in this difficult situation.

Reduce the “heat of passion” and come back to normal after a divorce from her husband can be faster if:

  • Try to let go of the other half. This does not mean to erase all contacts in the phone and close the door tightly, and let the negative, to recognize the freedom of ex-husband;
  • Do not go to all sorts of trouble – the desire to fill a void in the wounded soul may end up even sadder and hurt more;
  • Find yourself an activity to your liking – fitness, travel, skating, a hobby of some kind. You can go into work, but do not be too diligent in it – overexertion is fraught with another nervous breakdown.

The advice for men is about the same as for women. There is one additional rule: Don’t “get into the bottle. After a divorce, many members of the stronger half have problems with alcohol, which only exacerbates the problem. No one demands to observe the “dry law”, but it is necessary to limit the consumption of alcohol.


Divorce is a difficult procedure from a psychological point of view, accompanied by financial losses and rejection of the established way of life. If it is not possible to save the family, try to find a way out that is acceptable to both parties.

In solving controversial problems helps not only expensive legal advice and advice posted on various sites, but also your willingness to make concessions and look for compromises.

The order of dissolution of marriage through the registry office and the court

In this article, we will consider the order of divorce, the necessary documents, the stages of the process in the dissolution of marriage in the registry office and through the courts, as well as tell you how to file for divorce in case of disagreement with the other spouse.

Divorce, in accordance with the Family Code of the Russian Federation, can be carried out both in out-of-court (divorce in the registry office), and in court (filing for divorce through the court).

To divorce can lead to a variety of life situations, but the most common are:

spouses have lost interest in each other;

a spouse met another person;

Disrespectful attitude of one spouse to the other (in particular, beatings);

being (most often, the husband) in prison, etc.

Dissolution of marriage may occur either by mutual consent of the spouses, or only at the request of one party.

According to statistics, the second option occurs more often, and in most cases of divorce is filed by the wife.

With the mutual consent of husband and wife, divorce usually proceeds without any complications.

If there are minor children, one of the spouses is against it or plans a division of movable and immovable property, the divorce procedure is much more complicated.

How to file for divorce through the registry office

the Order of dissolution of marriage in an extrajudicial procedure is simple enough, the spouses need only submit an application to the Registry Office, and its employees do not consider the circumstances that led to the divorce, do not review the evidence, do not interview witnesses.

The duration of the divorce process in this case, as a rule, is little more than one month.

Apply for a divorce through the Registry Office is possible only if the following conditions are met:

The family has no minor joint children, including adopted children, which is confirmed by the relevant documents.

Neither of the spouses object to the divorce, as evidenced by a joint written statement drafted on the prescribed form.

This statement may be filed as at the place of the state registration of marriage, as well as at the place of residence of the spouses, or one of them.

If one of the spouses for a good reason (this may be a long trip, service in the army, serious illness, accommodation in remote areas, etc.) can not personally appear in the registry office, it is permitted to prepare two separate applications for divorce, in which the signature of the absent spouse must be certified by a notary.

Of the conditions discussed above, allowing dissolution of marriage in the registry office, there are a number of exceptions.

Thus, it is possible to file for divorce through the registry office, even if there are common minor children in the family, at the request of one of the spouses, if the other spouse:

Sentenced to imprisonment for a term of more than 3 years for a crime committed.

Recognized by a court decision of incapacitated.

Recognized as missing in the court order.

The order of dissolution of marriage in the registry office is as follows:

Spouses submit an application for dissolution of marriage.

This application can be submitted including through the portal

In accordance with existing Russian legislation spouses are given a month “for reflection”, the countdown of which begins on the day following the day of submission to the registry office of the application for divorce.

And only after the expiry of the above-mentioned period by the registry office may be made a state registration of the dissolution of marriage (divorce), and already ex-spouses issued certificates of dissolution of marriage.

In cases where the end of the above-mentioned term falls on a non-working day, the day of its end is considered the next working day after it.

If within a month of the application for termination of marriage is not withdrawn, the employees of the Registry Office made the corresponding record about the dissolution of the marriage, ex-spouses are issued a certificate of dissolution of marriage, and in their internal passports is stamped about the dissolution of the marriage.

Please note that if the former spouse after the divorce returns their premarital surname, their passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation becomes invalid and has to be replaced due to the change of surname on dissolution of marriage.

We talked about the procedure for replacing the passport here, see documents for replacement here.

Marriage dissolution procedure in court

Dissolution of marriage in court is carried out in the following cases:

If one of the spouses does not agree to dissolve the marriage.

In case if both spouses are not against the divorce, but one of them evades appearance in the registry office, for example, refuses to submit an application for divorce.

the Presence in the family of common minor children, except in cases of recognition of the other spouse as missing in court, conviction for more than 3 years, the recognition by court of the incapacity.

In the last three cases of dissolution of marriage is carried out through the registry office, as described in detail above.

The order of dissolution of marriage in court depends on the situation, for example, whether the other spouse to divorce, whether there are differences regarding the further education of common children, etc.

The claim for divorce, depending on the specific situation may be filed in a Justice of the peace (for example, if the spouses have minor children, but there is no dispute about the order of upbringing of their children), or in the court of general jurisdiction (for example, if the spouses have a dispute about the order of upbringing of minor children).

A petition for divorce is filed in court:

at the place of residence, or at the location of the property (if the exact place of residence is not established) of the defendant;

at the place of residence of the plaintiff – by mutual consent of the divorcing spouses, if his health condition does not allow to come to court at the place of residence of the defendant or minor children are registered (actually live) with him.

The statement of claim for dissolution of marriage must be compiled properly, competently and concisely.

As a reason for filing a statement of claim you can specify the following facts: as a result of the conflict marital relations between the spouses ceased, the common household from the specified time is not conducted, further life together has become impossible, etc.

If both spouses agree to the divorce, the reason for the divorce may not be given, but a notarized statement of consent to divorce will be required from the defendant.

The following documents must be attached to the petition for divorce:

Original certificate of marriage.

Copies of birth certificates of children.

Certificates of wages of the plaintiff and the defendant.

Reference from the place of residence of the defendant, if the lawsuit is filed at the residence of the defendant or a certificate of residence of the plaintiff, if the claim is filed at the place of residence of the plaintiff.

Duly certified statement of the defendant, which proves consent to divorce.

This document is not mandatory, but in the presence of his defendant may not appear in court.

If the defendant does not provide a statement, he must personally appear in court and certify that he agrees to the divorce.

Receipts of payment of state duty.

The order of dissolution of marriage in court:

One of the spouses – the plaintiff submits an application for divorce and the attached documents to the court.

Together with the application for divorce in court are usually filed claims for the recovery of alimony, child custody and division of property.

However, these claims may be filed after the judgment of dissolution of marriage, in a new case.

About how to compile a claim for recovery of child support, read in this article, about the procedure for the division of the property of former spouses, we wrote here.

The court appoints the date of the court hearing (in the case if the package of documents was executed correctly and accepted by the court for consideration).

This date may be set no earlier than one month after the filing of the divorce petition in court.

On the time and place of the court session plaintiff and defendant shall be notified by summons.

Court hearing.

It is quite possible to dissolve a marriage in one court hearing. This refers to situations where the consent of the spouses to divorce is mutual, i.e. the defendant has no claims on his or her part and does not object to the lawsuit being filed.

Otherwise, the court may impose a period of reconciliation between the spouses, which may last from one to three months, depending on the situation, as will be discussed below.

Finally, the decision may be postponed several times at the request of either spouse, but the total period of postponement may not exceed three months.

Postponement of the court session is possible in the absence of the defendant (his legal representatives), but in case of his third failure to appear without a valid reason, the court has the full right to fully satisfy the plaintiff’s claims.

If none of the spouses (or their representatives) did not appear at the court session, the divorce process is terminated, and the case for dissolution of marriage is considered closed.

Please note, that on a court hearing on the dissolution of the marriage is not necessarily present spouses, instead of them can do it the representative – a professional lawyer for family matters – family lawyer.

Adoption of a court decision on the dissolution of the marriage.

The court decision comes into force 10 days after it has been made. The period of 10 days is given to appeal against the decision of the court.

After the entry into force of the decision of the court spouses become ex-spouses with all the ensuing consequences.

After the entry into legal force of the decision of the court on the dissolution of the marriage the court is obliged within three days to send an extract from it to the Registry Office at the place of the state registration of the marriage and is in the registry office is a further registration of divorce.

Former spouses may apply to the Registry Office after the entry into force of the court decision to obtain a certificate of dissolution of marriage, which is issued in two copies – one for each ex-spouse.

How to file for divorce if the other spouse does not agree to the dissolution of marriage

As mentioned above, in the event one spouse disagrees to a divorce, the court has full authority to:

To take measures to reconcile the spouses.

Measures to reconcile the spouses are not an obligation, but a right of the court in cases where, in the judge’s opinion, the divorce action is the result of an accidental or temporary breakdown in the family.

Reconciliation measures may be taken either during the trial or in preparation for the trial.

Postpone the hearing of a divorce case by setting a period of time for the spouses to reconcile (not exceeding three months).

If at the expiration of this period the spouses have come to an agreement, the proceedings on the dissolution of the marriage is terminated.

Otherwise, in particular if:

measures to reconcile the spouses (if any) have failed;

one of the spouses insists on divorce;

the preservation of the family and further life together of the spouses is impossible

there is a dissolution of marriage in the order, in detail discussed above.

the Video below, is dedicated to the legal and documentary side of the dissolution of marriage through the registry office and in court.

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