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Russia weighs higher divorce fees

AFP-JIJI

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has backed a proposal to make divorce far more expensive as a way of discouraging ill-considered matches, state media reported Tuesday.

“The motives (for the suggestion) are understandable: switch on your brain when you’re getting married, otherwise there’s going to be material penalties,” the prime minister said.

Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012, was commenting on a proposal submitted by senators that would increase the state fees for divorce to almost 30,000 rubles ($940), a huge rise from the current charge of 400 rubles ($12.50).

Costly divorce cases are relatively rare in Russia, which has one of the world’s most lenient divorce procedures, with couples able to annul their marriages out of court in a single procedure at a wedding office. In cases where the divorce is contested, relatively little justification is required.