MODERN SOVIET DIVORCE PRACTICE

Publication Date01 Apr 1948
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1948.tb00081.x
AuthorG. M. Sverdlov
MODERN
SOVIE'I' DIVORCE PRACTICE
THE
text of the recent Decree together with
a
Commcntary on its
application
in
practice by
G.
M.
SVERDLOV,
from an article in
Sovietskoye Cosuhrstvo
i
Pravo,
1046,
No.
7,
p.
22,
translated by
Dudley Collard for the Anglo-Soviet Law Association.
FOREWORD
The Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the
U.S.S.R.
of July
8,
1044,
is inspired by the desire to encourage large families
and to uphold the institution of marriage. The first four of its five
parts are not directly concerned with divorce; but to illustrate the.
context in which the Soviet Union drastically amended
its
divorce
law, here is
a
summary of these parts.
The preamble
says:
'
Care for mother and child and support of
the institution of the family have always been among the most
important duties of the Soviet State. The State protects mother
and child by granting substantial financial aid to expectant mothers
and for the maintenance nnd,education of children. In consequence
of
the war, many-families face greater financial dimculties, and
a
further extension of these measures is necessary
.
.
.'.
Part
I
(sections 1-5) increases State grants to mothers of large
families; and provides for State maintenance of the children
of
unmarried mothers until the age of twelve, whether
or
not the
mother subsequently marries.
Part
I1
(sections
6-11)
extends the privileges accorded
to
expectant and nursing mothers, Leave of absence
on
full pay
before birth
is
now
five weeks and after birth six weeks, or eight
weeks in the case of twins, or
a
difklcult birth. Additional food
rations and restrictions on night work and overtime during pregnancy
and nursing are provided for.
Part
I11
(sections
12-15)
institutes medals and orders for
motherhood.
Part
IV
(sections
10-18)
imposes
a
tax on bachelors and
a
lesser
tax on those who have
only
one or two children.
Here is Part
V
verbatim:
'
19.
A registered marriage alone shall give rise to the
rights and obligations of husband and wife
as
laid down
by
law.
Persons having
de
faclo
marital relations prior to the promul-
gation of this Decree may formalise the same by registering
their cohabitation, stating the period thereof.'
'
Previously the rule had been that any permanent cohabitation
whether registered
or
not created the legal relationship of husband
and wife,
168

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