Divorce in Vietnam
Dear DB Legal – The Law firm in Da Nang, My name is S – the citizen of Viet Nam, I am living in S district, Da Nang city. I have married with Mr. T (that is the citizen of American). We have a marriage registration at the People's Committee of District S, Da Nang city. After getting married, Mr. T came back to the US to live, while I continued to stay in Vietnam. After getting married, even though we were far away, we still kept in contact with each other until 2019, when we ended all contact. Now I would like to make a divorce in Vietnam with Mr. T because we are no longer contact with each other. So, how can I get a divorce in Vietnam? We hope that DB Legal - a reputable law firm in Da Nang city will guide me through the latest divorce procedures in Vietnam in 2022. Thank you.
Dear Ms. S,
DB Legal Law Firm - A reputable law firm in Da Nang city is very pleased to receive your question. Regarding the content of your request, we respond as follows:
1) Competence to settle divorce at the request of Ms. S.
Since you are currently living in District S, Da Nang city and Mr. T resides in the US, the divorce case will be settled in the jurisdiction of the People's Court of Da Nang City.
- Legal grounds:
+ Article 37, Articel 40 and Artical 469 Code of Civil procedure;
Article 37. Jurisdiction of People's Courts of provinces
1. People's Courts of provinces shall have the jurisdiction to settle according to first-instance procedures the following disputes:
a) Civil, marriage- and family-related, business, trade or labor disputes prescribed in Articles 26, 28, 30 and 32 of this Code, except for disputes falling under the jurisdiction of the district-level people's Courts as provided for in Clause 1 and Clause 4 Article 35 of this Code;
b) Civil, marriage-and family-related, business, trade or labor petitions prescribed in Articles 27, 29, 31 and 33 of this Code, except for petitions falling under the jurisdiction of the district-level people's Courts as prescribed in Clause 2 and Clause 4 Article 35 of this Code;
c) Disputes and petitions prescribed in Clause 3, Article 35 of this Code.
2. The People's Courts of provinces shall have the jurisdiction to resolve according to first-instance procedures the civil cases falling under the jurisdiction of the People's Courts of districts as provided for in Article 35 of this Code, which are taken up by the People's Courts of provinces for settlement when necessary or at the request of People’s Courts of districts.
Article 40. Jurusdiction of Courts selected by plaintiffs or petitioners
1. The plaintiffs shall have the right to select Courts for resolution of civil, marriage and family-related, business, trade or labor disputes in the following cases:
a) If the plaintiff does not know where the defendant resides or works or where his/her head-office is located, the plaintiff may petition the Courts of the area where the defendant last resides or works or where the head-office of the defendant is last located or where the defendant' properties are located to settle the case;
b) If the dispute arises from the operation of a branch of an organization, the plaintiff may petition the Court of the area where the organization's head-office is located or where its branch is located to settle it;
c) If the defendant does not have residence place, work place or head-office in Vietnam or the case is related to disputes over alimonies, the plaintiff may petition the Court of the area where he/she resides or works to settle the case;
d) If the dispute is over compensation for non-contractual damage, the plaintiff may petition the Court of the area where he/she resides, works or where his/her headquarter is located or where the damage is caused to settle the case;
dd) If the dispute is over compensation for damage or allowance upon termination of a labor contract, over social insurance, the rights and/or interests in relation to job, wages, income and other working conditions for the laborers, the plaintiff being a laborer may petition the Court of the area where he/she resides or works to settle it;
e) If the dispute arises from the employment of labor by a sub-contractor or a mediator, the plaintiff may petition the Court of the area where his/her actual employer resides, works or is headquartered or where the sub-contractor or the mediator resides or works to settle it;
g) If the dispute arises from a contractual relation, the plaintiff may petition the Court of the area where the contract is performed to settle the case;
h) If the defendants reside, work or are headquartered in different places, the plaintiff may petition the Court of the area where one of the defendants resides or works or is headquartered to settle the case;
i) If the dispute is over immovables which exist in different localities, the plaintiff may request the Court of the area where one of such immovables exist to settle the dispute.
2. The petitioners may select Courts to settle their marriage and family-related petitions in the following cases:
a) Regarding civil petitions prescribed in Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of Article 27 of this Code, the petitioners may ask the Courts of the areas where they reside, work or are headquartered to resolve them;
b) Regarding petitions for revocation of illegal marriages provided for in Clause 1 Article 29 of this Code, the requesters may ask the Courts of the areas where an involved party of illegal marriage registration resides to resolve them;
c) Regarding petitions for restriction of rights of fathers or mothers towards their minor children or their right to visit the children after the divorces, the petitioners may ask the Courts of the areas where the children reside to resolve them.
Article 469. Common jurisdiction of Vietnamese Courts to resolve civil cases involving foreign elements
1. Vietnamese Courts shall have the jurisdiction to resolve civil cases involving foreign elements in the following cases:
a) The defendant is an individual who resides, works or lives for a long term in Vietnam;
b) The defendant is an agency or organization which is headquartered in Vietnam or the defendant is an agency or organization has a branch or a representative office in Vietnam, applicable to cases related to the operation of the branch or representative office in Vietnam of such agency/organization;
c) The defendant has properties in Vietnam;
d) The divorce cases with the plaintiffs or the defendants being Vietnamese citizens or involved parties being foreigners who reside, work or live for a long term in Vietnam;
dd) Civil cases related to civil relations which are established, changed or terminated in Vietnam, objects of which are properties in Vietnam or acts performed in Vietnam;
e) Civil cases related to civil relations which are established, changed or terminated outside of Vietnam’s territory but involve rights and obligations of Vietnamese agencies, organizations and individuals or agencies, organizations and individuals that are headquartered or reside in Vietnam.
2. When the jurisdiction of Vietnamese Courts have been determined according to provisions of this Chapter, the Court shall base themselves of provisions of Chapter III of this Code to determine their specific jurisdiction to resolve the civil case involving foreign elements.
- Article 123, 127 the Law on Marriage and Family
Artical 123. Competence to settle cases and matters of marriage and family involving foreign elements
1. The competence to register civil status related to marriage and family relations involving foreign elements must comply with the law on civil status.
2. The competence to settle cases and matters of marriage and family involving foreign elements at court must comply with the Civil Procedure Code.
3. District-level People’s Courts of localities where Vietnamese citizens reside are competent to cancel illegal marriages, settle divorce cases, disputes over the rights and obligations of husband and wife, parents and children, recognition of parents, children, child adoption and guardianship between Vietnamese citizens residing in border areas and citizens of neighboring countries living in areas bordering on Vietnam in accordance with this Law and other Vietnamese laws.
Article 127. Divorce involving foreign elements
1. Divorce between a Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner or between two foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam shall be settled at a competent Vietnamese agency in accordance with this Law.
2. 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.
3. 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) Preparing the lawsuit petitions:
The list of petition documents you need to prepare is as follows:
- Lawsuit Petition for divorce;
- Marriage registration certificate (original);
- ID card or CCCD and household registration (notarized copy);
- Your husband's passport (notarized copy);
- Documents related to the common child(ren) (notarized copy);
- Papers related to common property(ies) (notarized copy);
- Papers related to common debt(s) (notarized copy);
3) Procedures for divorce:
On the basis of records and evidence, the Court will consider and settle your case. The duration is from 2 to 4 months. However, in the event that the defendant does not cooperate, it is necessary to carry out the judicial mandate procedure in the United States or the procedure for posting information, the duration may be longer from 12 to 24 months.
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