According to the Law on marriage and family in vietnam as well as the law on civil proceedings, there are two ways of divorce: Divorce by mutual consent or divorce at a request of one spouse. Each way requires different procedures:
Regarding Divorce by mutual consent, the legal requirements on procedures are as follows:
The conditions for divorce by mutual consent:
The spouses who wish to mutual consent divorce must satisfy the following conditions:
- Both of them are really willing to divorce;
- They have totally agreed upon division of their joint properties; and
- They have totally agreed on taking care of, raising, looking after and educating their children on the basis of ensuring legitimate interests of the wife and the children.
The procedures to divorce by mutual consent: These procedures require 5 steps:
Step 1: Delivering an application to request to a competent court at a locality in which the spouses live or work to resolve the mutual consent divorce. This dossier includes:
- An application for recognition of divorce by mutual consent, and agreements on raising children and distributing properties upon divorce (as standard form). Both spouses must sign or fingerprint on this application;
- The marriage registration certificate (original);
- Registration book (certified copy);
- Identification card/passport (certified copy);
- Birth certificate of children; and
- Other data and evidence proving the joint properties.
Then, this dossier may be delivered either directly or by post to the court.
Step 2: Paying court fee
After receiving the dossier, within 3 business days, a judge will be assigned to resolve the dossier. If the judge considers that the dossier satisfies all conditions to accept jurisdiction, he or she will request the spouse applicant to pay the court fee for the acceptance of the settlement of this application. The period to pay the court fee is within 5 days from the date of request.
Step 3: Preparation for the consideration of the application
The Court has a period of one month to consider the application. During this time, the court must conduct a conciliation in order for the wife and the husband to reunify. If the conciliation is successful, the court will suspend the spouses request and the marriage relationship will be continuing. If not, the court will conduct other procedural steps to consider the application for divorce.
Step 4: Holding a meeting for the consideration of the application.
Within the duration as mentioned in step 3, the court may make a decision to hold a meeting for consideration of the application. Within 15 days after the date of the decision, the court must hold a meeting to consider as to whether the application for recognition of mutual consent divorce can be approved or not.
Step 5: Resolution procedures at appellate court
If any of the spouses appeals or the procuracy protests against the decision of the first instance court within the time – limit according to the applicable law, this matter may be solved at the appellate court. The decision of the appellate court is binding on both the wife and the husband, and will not be appealed or protested against.
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Regarding Divorce at the request of one of the spouses.
The procedure for a divorce at the request of one of the spouses will be carried out as a procedure of civil cases. In fact, the procedure is very complicated, including many steps. The main steps of the procedure for a divorce case are as follows:
Step 1: Lodge an application of initiation of a divorce case to a competent court.
The wife or the husband must lodge an application of initiation of a divorce to the competent court for the purpose of the examination. The application must be enclosed data and evidences which can prove that his or her request is legitimate. Normally, the enclosed data and evidences include:
- Marriage certificate;
- Birth certificate of the spouse’s children; and
- The date and evidences relating to their joint properties.
Step 2: Pay court fee deposit.
If the judge being in charge of the divorce case considers that the application is legitimate, he/she shall request the applicant to pay court fee deposit before accepting the case.
Step 3: Preparation of divorce case.
The duration of preparation of the case will be from 4 to 6 months. During this period, the court may conduct many acts and made some decisions relating to the case resolution, such as: preparing a case file, collecting data and evidences, conducting conciliation, temporarily suspending or suspending the case, bringing the case to a hearing…
Step 4: Conducting a first instance hearing.
If the court makes a decision to bring the case to a hearing during the preparation of a divorce case, it must carry out a first instance hearing. The time of the hearing will be mentioned in the decision.
Step 5: Resolution procedures at appellate court.
If any of the spouses appeals or the procuracy protests against the judgement of the first instance court within the time – limit according to the applicable law, the case may be solved at the appellate court. The decision of the appellate court is binding on both the wife and the husband, and will not be appealed or protested against.
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