Question 4: What kind of documents shall be required for a divorce file? How many sets of petition? What are the basic contents of a lawsuit petition ?

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  1. The file of divorce

According to the Law on Marriage and Family 2014, there are two methods to handle the divorce, specifically:

Case 01: Requesting the Court to approve the divorce by mutual consent, child bearing, and property division after divorce[2].

When both spouses request a divorce, a competent Court shall recognise the divorce by mutual consent if finding that the two spouses are really willing to divorce and have agreed upon the property division, custody, raising, care for, and education of their children on the basis of ensuring the legitimate interests of the wife and children. Either of the spouses is entitled to submit the file to the competent district People’s Court[4]. The petition file includes:

  • Petition for recognition on mutual divorce;
  • The marriage registration certificate (original copy);
  • Identity Cards or Citizen Identification Cards of the spouses (attested copies);
  • Birth certificates of children (attested copies) if having the common children of the spouses; and
  • Documents proving property ownership, land use right certificates, valuable papers, etc., in case there are common properties of the spouses to be divided.

Case 02: Requesting the Court to resolve the divorce case

In case of divorce at the request of one spouse or there is dispute in a divorce, either spouse or both spouses or a third party in some cases as prescribed by law has the right to request the Court to solve the divorce case. Under the Law on Marriage and Family, divorce petition includes the following documents:

  • Petition for divorce;
  • Identity Cards or Citizen Identification cards of the spouses (attested copies);
  • The marriage registration certificate (original copy);
  • Birth certificates of children (attested copies) if having the common children of the spouses; and
  • Documents proving property ownership, land use right certificates, valuable papers, etc., in case there are common properties to be divided.

In both of the above cases, if the spouses are married in Vietnam and either of them (spouse) exists and does not have a foreign residence address, then it should be added to the file “Certificate of exit and entry issued by the local authority”. Additionally, if the spouses get married in accordance with the foreign law but wish to get divorced in Vietnam, then their marriage registration certificate granted by the foreign competent State authority must be legalised by the consular[7] and they have to record in the civil status register at the district justice department before filing divorce[8]. In case, they want to get divorced without recording in the civil status register, the divorce petition must include a specific reason for not recording marriage for the Court’s considerations in certain circumstances.

2. Number of petitions

A plaintiff who is a spouse will submit 01 set of above documents at the competent Court, which is the basis for the Court to consider and resolve.

3. Contents of the Divorce Petition

The divorce petition must ensure all basic contents as prescribed by the Civil Proceedings Code 2015[10], including: The date of the Divorce Petition; The name of the Court receiving the petition; The names, places of residence and workplaces of spouses; The names, places of residence and workplaces of any person with related rights and obligations being an individual (if any specific claims expected to settle in the divorce case); Full name and address of any witness (if any); List of documents and evidence attached to the petition (if any).

In which, in the content of “specific claims expected to be settled in the divorce case”, the two spouses may reach agreement or request the Court to resolve the following issues:

  • The joint child(ren): Enter full information of the common child(ren) (names, dates of birth, etc.) and the wishes to raise child(ren) (if any);
  • Marital common properties: List of the information about the spouses’ current properties, property value, requirements on division of common properties of the spouses (if any);
  • Common debt: It is needed to state common debts, types of debt, payment periods, request for dividing obligations to pay liabilities (if any) clearly; and
  • Alimony: Having a request for the alimony obligation with the spouse not directly nursing the child(ren).

[2] Article 55 of the Law on Marriage and Family 2014.

[4] Article 35.1.(a), Article 35.2.(a) of the Civil Proceedings Code 2015.

[7] Article 124 of the Law on Marriage and Family 2014.

[8] Article 48 and 50 of the Law on Civil Status 2014, Article 35 of the Decree 123/2015/ND-CP.

[10] Article 189.4 of the Civil Proceedings Code 2015.

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