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Restoration of the parent’s rights – at the court’s discretion?..

Tatiana Starikova, Advocate, Head of Private Clients Practice of the Law Firm "YUST"

The disputes concerning the upbringing of children include, in the first hand, the disputes to determine the residence of the child, if the parents reside separately (clause 3 of Article 65 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation, hereinafter – the FCRF); on exercise of the parent’s rights by the parent, who resides separately from the child (clause 2 of Article 66 of the FCRF); to eliminate obstacles to communicate with the child for the child’s close relatives (clause 3 of Article 67 of the FCRF); to restore parent’s rights (clause 2 of Article 72 of the FCRF); to limit parent’s rights ()clause 1 of Article 73 of the FCRF); to revoke limitation of parent’s rights (Article 76 of the FCRF).

In July of 2012, the Survey of the practice of resolution by the courts of the disputes related to the upbringing of children was published in the Bulletin of the Supreme Court of Russia (2012, No. 7). The Survey was made on the basis of the generalization, done by the Supreme Court of Russia together with the supreme, territorial, regional and other courts equal to them, of the court practice of the disputes related to the upbringing of children in 2008-2010.


There are few cases of restoration of the parent’s rights, but despite that the Supreme Court of Russia was able to single out the most complicated issues faced by the courts in the course of settlement of this category of disputes in a separate paragraph: “Consideration of the parent’s rights restoration cases by courts”. Thus the significance of such procedure for the parent stripped of the parent’s rights as well as for the child necessarily separated from the parent was acknowledged.

“Deprivation of the parent’s rights is an exclusive measure, which in Russia is mainly applied to people in the state of deep degradation. However, it may not be ruled out that in some cases the parents, who are able to find forces to get their children back, are the respondents in the case of deprivation of the parent’s rights” (A.M.Nechaeva, “Family Law”, a course of lectures, M., 1998).

The conduct of a person stripped of the parent’s rights, which does not comply with the legal and ethical requirements, is by far not always of an irrevocable nature. Therefore, some chance to restore the lost right to be with the child, to restore the natural connection between the child and the child’s mother of father, which the child needs, should remain.

Jurisdiction of the cases on restoring the parent’s rights

Though the Civil Procedural Code of the Russian Federation does not directly include the cases on restoring the parent’s rights into the jurisdiction of common law district courts (unlike, for example, the cases on deprivation of the parent’s rights), the cases of this category “are to be considered by the district courts, as they involve the rights and interests of children” (Survey of court practice by the Supreme Court of Russia for the first quarter of 2003 dated 09.07.2003).

The resolution of the issue of restoration of the parent’s rights falls into the competence of the district court of the location of residence (permanence) of the respondent. The court decides on the claim to restore the parent’s rights in the procedure of action proceedings.

This matter may only be considered on the initiative of the parents (parent) deprived of the parent’s rights (clause 2 of Article 72 of the FCRF). Other individuals and legal entities, even the prosecutor or guardianship and tutelage bodies may not file the requests to restore the parent’s rights to the parents.

The rest of the article is available in the hardcopy version of the “Sudia (Judge)” magazine No. 11, 2012.

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