There are two ways to get a divorce under Vietnamese law: Divorce by mutual consent or divorce at a request of one spouse. Basing on both legal provisions and practicality, divorce by mutual consent will take the shortest time to complete.
So, what is a divorce by mutual consent and what are the procedures for a divorce by mutual consent? We will answer these questions in the following paragraphs.
What is a divorce by mutual consent? Divorce by mutual consent is a procedure in which both spouses divorce voluntarily when they find that it is not suitable to continue the marriage relationship.
Besides that, they have also agreed together on the division of their joint properties as well as raising, educating and taking care of their children. In this case, they shall lodge an application to a competent court to request to recognize their agreement on divorce. If the court considers that their application is legitimate, it shall issue a decision on recognition on their mutual consent on divorce agreement. Upon such decision becomes valid, the marriage relationship will be terminated.
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The conditions and procedures for divorce by mutual consent.
First, the conditions for getting a divorce by mutual consent:
These are conditions that the spouses must satisfy if they want a court to recognize a divorce by mutual consent:
- Both of the spouses are really willing to divorce;
- They have totally agreed upon division of their joint properties;
- 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
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 property upon divorce (as standard form). Both spouses must sign or fingerprint on this application;
- The marriage registration certificate (original);
- Household Registration book (certified copy);
- Identification card/passport (certified copy);
- Birth certificates of children; and
- Other data and evidence proving joint properties.
Then, this dossier can 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 handle the dossier. If the judge considers that the dossier satisfies all conditions to accept jurisdiction, he/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 their request and the marriage relationship will be continuing. If not, the court will conduct other steps to consider the application for divorce.
Step 4: Holding a meeting for the consideration of the application.
Within the period as mentioned on step 3 above, 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 the 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. Decision of the appellate court is binding on both the wife and the husband, and will not be appealed.
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