We are specialist international divorce and family lawyers. We typically advise clients who are either UK-based but have a connection to Vietnam or who were married in Vietnam. We also represent those with some other association with Vietnam who wish to divorce, or need guidance on where to divorce, financial settlements or child arrangements. Below we’ve highlighted some of the ways divorce is approached by the authorities in Vietnam.
Grounds For Divorce In Vietnam
Vietnam’s Law on Marriage and Family, 2016, provides for divorce by mutual consent and divorce on the request of one party (unilateral divorce).
- Mutual consent divorce – Arises where the divorcing spouses are in agreement on all aspects of the divorce, including property division, child arrangements and any maintenance payments. The court must be satisfied that any agreement between the parties protects the long-term legitimate interests of the wife (or financially weaker party) and any children.
- Unilateral divorce – One party can seek a divorce without the other’s consent if any of the grounds contained in the Law on Marriage and Family are are met. These include proof of domestic violence and where there are irreconcilable differences between husband and wife.
At the beginning of any unilateral divorce case the courts will require the parties to attempt some form of conciliation.
Note that a parent or other relatives can initiate divorce proceedings on behalf of a spouse in cases of serious domestic violence or where there are serious mental health issues.
Vietnamese Divorce And Foreign Nationals
The Law on Marriage and The Family 2016 contains specific provisions for divorce where one spouse is not a Vietnamese national. These include procedures for recognising foreign court judgments that contain a request for the Vietnam court to carry out enforcement procedures.
Dividing Property In A Vietnamese Divorce
Parties can agree how to divide their property following divorce in Vietnam. Any agreement can be relatively quickly approved as long as the court is satisfied the settlement protects the legitimate interests of the wife (we mentioned this requirement above).
If the spouses cannot agree on how to divide their property the court will make a ruling – division will not always be equal. Generally only property acquired during the marriage will be subject to division. Property that is inherited or which one party owned before the marriage will normally be considered as separate property. Factors taken into consideration when deciding how to split joint property include each side’s contribution to the asset and any legal rights that may exist over the property.
Child Custody In Vietnam After Divorce
Where there is no agreement for child arrangements following divorce the Vietnamese courts will apply the factors listed in Article 81 of the Law on Marriage and Family. In essence this means making custody decisions based primarily on what are the best interests of the child. The court will also try to directly ascertain the wishes of children if they are over seven and, save in exceptional circumstances, if a child is under three the mother will be granted custody.
Advice On Vietnamese Divorce
If you have a connection to Vietnam and wish to divorce it’s important to get expert advice. At Brookman we work with clients of all nationalities, and we understand the kind of issues that crop up regularly in international divorce. Our experience in dealing with different legal systems throughout the world means we are well equipped to deal with divorce where international laws may have some impact.
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