Адвокат Мария Ярмуш
"Я не верю в правосудие,
я его добиваюсь!"

Child abduction to Russia

How to return a child from Russia on the basis of the Convention on civil aspects of international child abduction of October 25, 1980

If Your child was abducted from a normal permanent child’s residence to the Russian Federation, it is necessary to file a lawsuit in one of the eight competent Russian courts about returning the child under the international agreement of the Russian Federation.

To do this, it is important to find a lawyer who specializes in such cases and has experience in dealing with cases of return of children to the country of permanent residence.

If a lawyer without experience starts the case, it will be much more difficult to get satisfaction of the claim and the chance of losing the case is bigt.

It is important in such cases not just to read the 1980 Convention, but also to know the judicial practice of applying the articles of the Convention. This determines the motivation of the claim and the indication of important circumstances to prove the need to return the child home.

At the same time, the outcome of the case depends on how quickly the claim for the return of the child was filed, since if the child started to feel home in Russia, the court will refuse to return him to the country of residence.

It is a mistake of the father to apply to the police to initiate criminal proceedings against the mother for the child’s kidnapping. The initiation of a criminal case against the child's mother may be the basis for the Russian court to refuse the father’s claim to return the child to the country of his permanent residence.

During the period from 2016 to 2018, the Russian courts of first instance considered 71 cases on the return of the child, of which 23 cases satisfied the requirement for the return of the child, 48 cases refused to satisfy the requirement for the return of the child.

Thus, more than 30 % of claims for the return of abducted children from Russia were satisfied. This figure gives confidence that Your child can be returned from Russia.

If Your child has already been taken to Russia, what to do?

Start collecting documents confirming the child's residence in Your country of residence. It should be: the birth certificate of the child, medical documents on service of the child, documents from school about training of the child, insurance, characteristics from school, data on the residence of the child, certificates from the place of Your work and other documents which will confirm that the child always and mainly lived in the country where You ask to return the child.

If you already have court decisions on the place of residence of the child or on the order of communication with the child, then these decisions must also be legalized and submitted to the Russian court.

All official documents must be notarized and must have an apostille, that is, be legalized.

If You do not know where the child is actually located, the Russian court can declare Your child wanted after taking the claim to its production.

Also, the court after the beginning of the case may prohibit the mother to move the child to another country and stop to change the actual place of residence of the child until the end of the case.

It is important to remember that a child at the age of 10 years can be questioned by the court at the hearing to establish his opinion on the return. If the child declares his disagreement to leave Russia, the claim may be denied.

Therefore, it is important not to miss the deadline for going to court. Otherwise, the child may be turned against You.

If the question of return concerns several children, the court can and will take into account the views of both children. If the eldest child wants to stay in Russia, and the youngest cannot justify his desire, the court will not divide the children. Most likely the children will be left in Russia.