- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /
152

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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152

DIVORCE.

P. v., Ch. v.

§124.
Divorce of
Persons of
Protestant
Religions.

§125.
Nullification
of Marriage
according to
the Laws of
the Roman
Catholic
Church.

have for their object the conditional or unconditional dissolution of
marriage. This provision is also extended to civil marriages.1

If the parties belong to the Protestant faith, their marriage can
be dissolved by the Consistorial Court to the jurisdiction of which
the husband belongs, except in the case of a petition for divorce on
the grounds of malignant desertion on the part of the husband, when
the Consistorial Court to which the wife belongs has jurisdiction.
Persons residing abroad must address petitions for divorce to one of
the Russian Consistorial Courts, requesting to be admitted to its
jurisdiction, or to the Russian Minister of the Interior, praying him
to give special instructions to a Consistorial Court to take up the matter.

The legal grounds upon which dissolution of marriage is granted
to Russian subjects of the Protestant Christian faith are stated in
Svod Zakonov, Vol. XI., Part I., Ed. 1896.

Divorce proceedings are usually very protracted.

Divorce, properly so-called, is in no case allowed by the Roman
Catholic Church, that is to say, it will never absolve the parties to
a marriage from the vinculum matrimonii once it has been validly
contracted. In those cases however, where, though a form of marriage
may have been gone through, an impediment exists which, according
to the law of the Church, prevents the marriage from being valid, the’
Church will sometimes grant a decree of nullity which is in fact a
declaration that no valid marriage has been contracted. The principal
grounds on which such a decree can be granted are : mistake ; the
existence of consanguinity or affinity between the parties ; difference
in religion ; the presence of force or fraud in effecting the ceremony ;
either party being under vows or other ties, or being already married ;
if the ceremony has been clandestine ; or if one or both parties are
under the lawful age for marrying, or impotent, &c.

The impediment of clandestinity does not apply in countries where
the decrees of the Council of Trent have not been promulgated.

The proofs required are very stringent and the procedings generally
costly. The suit must be brought in the Court of the Ordinary or
in the Papal Court, which does not recognise the authority of any
other tribunal to grant a decree of nullity. There being in Russia no
such thing as civil divorce, the divorce laws of each Russian subject
are those of his own Church ; a Russian Roman Catholic, therefore,
who desires to free himself from his marriage ties can only apply to
the authorities of his religion, and, if possible, obtain a decree of nullity,
which will be recognised as valid by the Russian courts.2

1 Code of Civil Laws, Ed. 1900, Art. 76.

2 In addition to the impediments enumerated in the text, which are of
sufficient importance to render a nullification of the marriage possible (direment
impediments), there are others, which, while they can prevent the marriage, are
insufficient to nullify it once celebrated. These are : marriage without the
consent of the parents or guardians when the parties are of marriageable age,
although still minors ; marriages at prohibited times, such as Lent or Advent,
ind marriages contracted in face of the prohibition of the Church.

§§ 124, 125.

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