Divorce from a foreign citizen raises a lot of questions in connection with the increased number of such marriages, as well as in the presence or absence of agreements of the Republic of Belarus with other states regulating this issue.
Belarus occupies the fourth highest place in the world for divorce, behind South Korea, Russia, and Aruba.
The legislation of the Republic of Belarus provides two divorce procedures: the civil registry office – the registry office and the court. This rule also applies in case of dissolution of marriages of citizens of the Republic of Belarus with foreign citizens or stateless persons, as well as marriages between foreign citizens, foreign citizens and stateless persons, stateless persons, if at least one of which has a permit for permanent residence in the Republic of Belarus.
Dissolution of marriages in the Republic of Belarus between foreign citizens, marriages between foreign citizens is carried out in diplomatic missions and consular posts of foreign states and is recognized on a reciprocal basis valid in the Republic of Belarus if these persons are in the moment of divorce were citizens of the state that appointed the ambassador or consul in the Republic of Belarus.
The marriage also can be divorced by the registry office upon the joint application of both spouses, who, upon application, must confirm that they have no minor children, and there is no dispute about the property.
The judicial procedure provides for the submission of a statement of claim at the defendant’s place of residence.
However, in cases where underage children are with the plaintiff, as well as for health reasons, the plaintiff’s departure to the defendant’s place of residence is difficult; the application may be presented at the plaintiff’s place of residence.
All issues related to divorce are resolved in accordance with Belarusian law. So, when accepting a petition for divorce, the court must provide a period of 3 months for the reconciliation of spouses. After the expiration of a three-month period, the judge appoints the case for hearing, if the spouses did not come to a reconciliation. If during the trial circumstances are established that indicate the possibility of maintaining the family, the court, at the request of the parties or one of them or on its own initiative, has the right to provide the spouses with an additional period of reconciliation within 6 months. The postponement of the proceedings for the reconciliation of spouses within this period may be repeated.
Questions about the division of common property, spousal maintenance obligations, the spouse’s right to retain a family name chosen as a common at marriage are decided in accordance with the laws of the state in the territory of which they have a joint place of residence, and in the absence of a joint place of residence, with the laws of the state, in whose territory they had their last joint residence.
The dispute of parents about the further residence of children is resolved according to the legislation of the country where the spouses lived together. And in the case of separation, the citizenship of the child is taken into account.
It should be noted that the legislation of the Republic of Belarus does not allow dual citizenship. If the child is a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, and also has the citizenship of another state, the dispute on the further residence of the child will be resolved in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that the dissolution of the marriage of a citizen of the Republic of Belarus with a foreign citizen or a stateless person does not in itself entail the termination of the citizenship of the Republic of Belarus by the spouses.