Under the Clause 25, Article 3, Law on Marriage and Family 2014: “Marriage and family relation involving foreign elements means the marriage and family relation in which at least one partner is a foreigner or an overseas Vietnamese or in which partners are Vietnamese citizens but the bases for establishing, changing or terminating that relation are governed by a foreign law, or that relation arises abroad or the property related to that relation is located abroad.”
Therefore, marriage and family relation is considered as the marriage and family relation with foreign element if:
- Subjects in the marriage and family relation are foreigners
- Legal events that arise, change or terminate the marriage and family relation occurring abroad
- Property related to marriage and family relation is abroad
- Places of residence of involved parties in marriage and family relations are abroad
2. Competence to settle divorce with foreign elements:
Divorces with foreign elements include: unilateral divorce with foreign elements and mutual consent divorce with foreign elements.
According to the Article 123 of Law on Marriage and Family 2014 on the competence to settle cases of marriage and family with 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.
In order to conduct a divorce involving foreign elements in Vietnamese and international justice, the application should include:
- The application for divorce or application for recognition of mutual consent divorce (according to the form of court). If the signatory is a foreigner, it must be certified by the Vietnamese embassy in foreign country (for Vietnamese) or certified by the competent authority of the foreign country (for foreigner).
- The original marriage certificate (if any). In case of loss of the original marriage certificate, a certified copy of the original marriage certificate must be submitted, but must be clearly stated in application.
- ID card (Passport); household register (certified copy) of the two parties
- Copy of child's birth certificate (if any)
- Authenticated copy of documents on property ownership (if there is a dispute on property)
- A document confirming the marital status of the couple
- Documents evidencing that a party is abroad (if any)
Note: If both parties register their marriage under the law of foreign country want to divorce in Vietnam, the marriage registration certificate must make consular legalization and enroll in the Department of Justice before applying for divorce.
Time limit for trial preparation: 04 - 06 months from the date of the case.
Time limit for opening the trial: 01 - 02 months from the date of the decision to bring the case to trial.
However, the resolution also depends on the cooperation of the parties and the content of dispute settlement of the two parties.
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