Usually, a divorce leads to a dispute between the former spouses about the fate of their joint child. Two questions arise, that are, with which parent the child will live, and how the other parent will communicate with the child. According to the family legislation of the Russian Federation, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children of 1996, and the Hague Convention of 1980 on the civil aspects of the international child abduction (which were ratified by Russia), both parents have the same rights and responsibilities towards their children. A parent whose rights have been violated by the former spouse may apply to the court for protection of his/her rights.
There are several ways of the violated rights protection
An example in practice.
A family broke up. The former spouses are the citizens of different countries. The former wife is a Russian citizen, and the former husband is a US citizen. They have a minor child resulting from this union. The former wife takes the child, and goes back to Russia. This is a classic example in practices that is very common.
In this situation, the former spouse may raise the question of the child’s place of residence, in other words, with which parent and in what country the child will stay to live. If the father is not willing to let the child live with the mother, he can determine ways of communication with the child, or (differently) obtain the right of access to the child.
What is the determination of ways of communication with the child
The determination of the ways of communication between the parent and the child is the document which regulates in detail the rights of the parent not living with the child to communicate with him/her. The mother and the father of the child can sign this document voluntarily, or in case of refusal, the interested party may apply to the court to compel the other party to provide the opportunity to see the child.
Establish of the order of communication voluntary or involuntary
If both parties wish on their own without resorting to the court to set the ways of communication with the child, they can conclude an agreement. The agreement is certified by a notary public, and only then it comes into effect.
If the former spouse is not willing to provide the child voluntarily, the other spouse may file a claim to the court. The court makes a decision binding on both parties.
The execution of the agreement or the court decision determining the ways of communication with the child is made by the parties voluntarily, or through the Court Bailiffs Service.
The content of the agreement or the court decision
on the determination of the ways of communication with the child may include the most diverse area of each one’s life.
Communicating with the child using the media
Continuing our example, the father of the child may ask to contact the child by telephone, through the internet using various communication programs (for example, via skype).
Direct communication with the child
The father can see the child in the presence of the other parent, as well as alone. He can take the child home with him, take him to the movies, the circus, the park, etc. The child’s father can take the child to his home overnight.
Vacation with the child
We should also mention the joint vacation of the father and his child. The father has the right to request to provide him with the opportunity to have a vacation together with his child. They can go for a vacation to another region of Russia or outside the Russian Federation.
We should say that the determination of the ways of communication with the child is not limited to all of the above. Parents may request to establish the procedure regarding such things as the opportunity of the father to participate in selecting a preschool educational institution, a school, a hospital, and so on.
The court decision or the agreement on the determination of the ways of communication with the child is not permanent. Life does not stand still, the child grows up, goes to school, then goes to college. It is extremely difficult to plan the contact with the child for ten years ahead. Therefore, the schedule of communication between the child and the parent is made for two or three years in advance. In subsequent, the parties may appeal once again to the court with the proper statement, if necessary.