Question 104: In a divorce case, when a spouse provides documents and evidence to the Court, shall he or she send copies of such documents and evidence to the other spouse at the same time? Why?

According to the law, the spouses participating in the proceedings at the Court have the right to “be informed and take notes or photocopy documents and evidence presented by other spouse”[4]. Furthermore, the litigant is also required to send the other litigants a photocopy of the petition, documents and evidence[5], with the exception of any document which is not publicly disclosable according to the applicable law[6].

It can be seen that the litigants are firstly obliged to provide necessary documents for the protection of their legitimate rights and interests or for proving at the request of the Court. However, the litigants are also required to notify or provide the other spouses with copies of documents and evidence provided to the Court for ensuring the others’ rights. In the case where one spouse violates his or her obligation to provide copies of evidence and documents to the other spouse, the Court will allow the other spouse to access, copy, and photograph the documents, and evidence held by the Court in order to facilitate the process of resolving the divorce case.

In exceptional cases, the Court will not request the litigant to provide evidence that he or she has to other litigants. The Court may also not allow the litigant access a number of documents and evidence of the case such as documents related to State secrets, business documents, family secrets, etc., at the reasonable request of a litigant but still remains the obligation of notifying which documents, evidence are not allowed to disclose publicly in the process of resolving a divorce case.

[4] Article 70.8 of the Civil Proceedings Code 2015.

[5] Article 70.9 of the Civil Proceedings Code 2015.

[6] Article 109.2 of the Civil Proceedings Code 2015.

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