Disputes over children.

In resolving any dispute relating to the upbringing of the child, including those about with whom the child is to live, the court will decide what is in the child's best interests.

The child's wishes and feelings are the important factor to be taken into account. However, the weigh attached to the child's views will greatly depend on the child's age: the law specifically states that the opinion of a child 10 years old or older must be taken into consideration.

Other factors will also be considered: the child's age, sex, background and the relationship which exists between the child and each parent as well as how capable the parent is in meeting his or her needs. Russian law stresses that the court should not place much weigh on the fact that one parent can offer a higher standard of living than the other.

The practice demonstrates that there is a de facto presumption in favour of mothers. It is estimated that in almost 90 per cent of cases the child will stay with a mother. Such decisions are not based on some special mother's rights, but on traditional conviction of Russian judges, who are mostly women, that children are better off with mothers.

In May 2011, Russia has joined the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 On the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, a treaty which requires countries to send abducted children back to the jurisdiction where they have been living previously.