According to Vietnamese law, divorce between a Vietnamese national and a foreigner or between two foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam is settled in accordance with the Law on Marriage and Family.
1. Divorce involving foreign elements
According to Article 127 of the Law on marriage and family 2014, Divorce involving foreign elements include cases:
- Divorce between a Vietnamese national and a foreigner
- Divorce between two foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam
In case a partner being a Vietnamese citizen does not permanently reside in Vietnam at the time of request for divorce, the divorce shall be settled in accordance with the law of the country where the husband and wife permanently co-reside; if they do not have a place of permanent co-residence, the Vietnamese law shall apply.
The settlement of a divorced couple’s immovables in a foreign country must comply with the law of the country where such immovables are located.
2. Competence to settle cases and matters of marriage and family involving foreign elements
The competence to settle cases and matters of marriage and family involving foreign elements at Provincial-level People’s Courts.
District-level People’s Courts of localities where Vietnamese citizens reside are competent to settle divorce between Vietnamese citizens residing in border areas and citizens of neighboring countries living in areas bordering on Vietnam.
3. Requested documents
Accompanying documents and evidence to be filed for applying for divorce in Vietnam include:
– The original marriage registration certificate. If the original is not available, you may use a copy which is certified by a foreign competent agency;
– Certified copies of birth certificates of your children (if any);
– A certified copy of your passport or visa;
– A certified copy of identity card or passport of your husband;
– A divorce application (stating an agreement between two partners on common property and children or request for court settlement);
– Title documents or documents proving houses, cars, bank account, etc.
– Papers and documents in foreign languages must be requested for consular certification and legalization.
Note: If parties register their marriage according to foreign law and get a divorce in Viet Nam, they must have their marriage registration consular legalised and finish the procedures of noting on the registration book at the Department of Justice before applying for the divorce. In case the parties cannot conduct noting but still want a divorce, then the divorce application must clearly note the reason why they cannot.
4. Divorce procedure
Step 1: Submitted the dossiers for divorce directly to the competent Court.
Step 2: Within 7-15 days after receiving a complete and valid dossier, the Court shall examine the dossier and send a notice of advance of the court fee.
Step 3: Pay the civil court cost advance at the competent Civil Judgment Enforcement Sub-department and submit the court fee advance receipt to the Court.
Step 4: The court opens a mediation session at court and conducts divorce proceedings at the Court according to first-instance procedures.
The time limit for preparation for the trial of a divorce case is four months counting from the date of acceptance of the case. For a complicated case, or when objective obstacles exist, the court’s chief justice may decide to extend the trial preparation time limit but for no more than two months for a case.
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