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Unilateral divorce for marriage in Vietnam

In Vietnam, there are two types of divorce and they are the consensual divorce and unilateral divorce. Unilateral divorce, unlike consensual divorce, takes a lot of time as it involves a lot of complex process. 

1/ What is unilateral divorce?

unilateral divorce happens when both parties do not reach an agreement on major issues that affects the marriage. Here, they do not agree on any matters, such as who takes custody of children, how properties are to be shared, and debts settled.

According to Marriage and Family law, husband or wife has the right to request the Court to resolve the divorce. The husband has no right to request a divorce in case the wife is pregnant, giving birth or nursing a child under 12 month old.

As a Vietnamese seeking to divorce a foreigner, there are some things you must note about unilateral divorce in Vietnam and they include:

a/ The Competence of the Court

The competence of the court for unilateral divorce is similar to that of consensual divorce. It is a provincial-level but the difference is that for divorce to be valid, the affected spouse is to file a petition to the court where the other party resides. There are, however, laws in Vietnam that gives the petitioner the freedom to choose a settlement court of their choice.

b/ Documents to Be Submitted

To get a unilateral divorce, one of the spouse is to prepare a petition dossier that has its roots in the relevant divorce laws of the state where the application is made. Attached to this petition is a documents that shows why the court should intervene in the marriage and grant divorce. For easy application, the foreigner must provide a translation from their foreign language to Vietnamese.

c/ Procedure of Divorce 

After a petition dossier is filed before a court of competent jurisdiction, the court reviews the petition and notifies the petitioner of such receipt. A unilateral takes between nine to twelve months before the marriage is finally dissolved.

Meetings are held to evaluate evidences that supports the claim of the petitioner. The court will also take steps to mediate between couples and ensure issues can be addressed through other means of dispute resolution. Where every step to reconcile couples fail, the court takes steps to finalize the divorce by settling:

  • The marital status of the spouses
  • Property division and debt settlement
  • Custody of children and other related issues

The involvement of children remains the major reason why unilateral divorce are complicated as both parties want to retain custody of children.

After divorce has been made, couples can appeal the decision within 15 days. However, there cannot be any appeal when the final decision have been reached been reached.

2/ Welcome to Apolo Lawyers Law Firm

Apolo Lawyers is welcomed to help the client consult, draft the dossier and carry out the divorce procedure. By our team of experienced lawyers, we trust that our clients will be satisfied with the quality of our services. For further information, please contact:

For further information, contact us:

Apolo Lawyers - Solicitors & Litigators

Address: 10th Floor, PaxSky Building, No. 51 Nguyen Cu Trinh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Binh Thanh Branch      

Address: 9th/F, Tower K&M Building, 33 Ung Van Khiem St., Binh Thanh Dist., HCM City


Tel: (028) 66.701.709 / (028) 35.059.349

Mobile 1/ Whatsapp 1: 0939.486.086 / Mobile 2/ Whatsapp 2: 0908.043.086




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