To read this content please select one of the options below:

The concept of “non-standard marriages” in the theory of family law in Russia

Aleksey Anisimov (Kutafin Moscow State Law University, Moskva, Russian Federation)
Elena Eltanskaya (Volgograd State University, Volgograd, Russian Federation)
Agnessa O. Inshakova (Volgograd State University, Volgograd, Russian Federation)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 13 April 2022

Issue publication date: 14 February 2023




The purpose of this article is to classify and study the features of the types of non-standard marriages existing in Russia (de facto, sham, same-sex marriages), in order to adjust their legal regulation by the state.


The authors of the article examined the theoretical and practical problems of state recognition and regulation of non-standard marriages not recognized by the state, and justified a new strategy of support (in the case of de facto marriages) or counteraction (in the case of sham marriages) of these social phenomena by the state and law. In the light of the negative attitude of Russian citizens to same-sex marriages, the possibility of their support in the future is justified.


Having studied three types of non-standard marriages, the authors substantiate the need for a different approach of the state to further legal regulation of these social phenomena. It is proved, that in relation to same-sex marriages, the existing non-recognition and negative attitude of the legislator and society in Russia to their legalization will last until the attitude towards sexual minorities in general, changes in Russian society. De facto marriages should be introduced into the legal field, they should be given a normative definition and outline the general legal framework of the rights of de facto spouses and their children. As for sham marriages, it is proposed to consider the lack of intention to create a family and the selfish interest to be their main features pursued by one or both spouses entering into a sham marriage.


The originality and value of the research is stipulated by the consideration of the legal regulation of marriage and family issues in the historical context of the development of the Russian state, as well as the evolution of ideas about morality in Russian society. The changing attitude of society towards de facto marriages, the increase in the number of unregistered married couples indicates the transformation of the moral values of young people and the need for the state to promote the legal protection of such married couples without trying to prohibit or restrict them. Existing approaches to the legal regulation of sham marriages require adjustments, including incorporating the notion of “fictitious divorce” in family legislation.



Anisimov, A., Eltanskaya, E. and Inshakova, A.O. (2023), "The concept of “non-standard marriages” in the theory of family law in Russia", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 43 No. 1/2, pp. 214-227.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles