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Vietnam divorce procedure

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1. Vietnam Divorce Procedure

When the goals of a marriage cease to or no longer come to fruition, divorce may be the only option. However, Vietnam divorce procedure is relatively complicated.

This article provides straightforward information on Vietnam divorce procedures involving foreigners according to Vietnamese law.

Vietnam legal framework

In this context, Vietnam divorce procedure involving foreigners means the procedures laid down by Vietnam law on how to divorce between Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner, or between two foreigners.

When arranging such a divorce, be aware that:

When a partner, being a Vietnamese citizen, does not permanently reside in Vietnam at the time of the request for a divorce, the divorce is settled in accordance with the law of the country where the husband and wife permanently co-reside; if they do not have a place of permanent co-residence, Vietnamese law applies.

The settlement of a divorced couple’s immovables (real estate) in a foreign country must comply with the law of the country in which such immovables are located.

2. Time Frame

In fact, calculating a definite time frame for settling divorces involving foreigners is challenging, because it is dependent upon a variety of factors and normally progresses throughout the following time period and according to the court’s procedural order:


Voluntary divorces: 1 to 4 months;

Unilateral divorces: 4 to 6 months (Certain conditions such as a defendant being absent, a property dispute, etc., may prolong long the divorce). Appeals may last from 3 to 4 months (if there is an appeal).

Divorce in absentia: 12 to 24 months (due to the procedure for judicial entrustment).

3. Jurisdiction

According to current law, the jurisdiction to settle divorces involving foreigners belongs to the People’s Court of the province.

In special cases, the People’s Court of the district will have jurisdiction to resolve divorces between Vietnamese citizens (living in frontier areas) and citizens of neighboring countries living adjacent to Vietnam.

4. Divorce procedure

Divorce procedure involving foreign elements

Step 1: Submit a valid application for divorce at a competent court.

Step 2: Within 7–15 days, the court examines the application for completion and validity. The court will send a notice for payment of court fees.

Step 3: Court fees may be paid at the Sub-Department of Civil Judgement Enforcement – payment receipts are then submitted to the Court.

Step 4: Mediation sessions are opened and conducted at the court and first-instance divorce proceedings have begun.

If there is no dispute over property, the first-instance court fee in a divorce case is 300,000 VND; if there is a dispute over property, the court cost is determined by the value of the property…

For your reference, the contents relevant to divorce procedure involving foreign elements are included above. Please contact us for thorough assistance if you have any associated issues via the following hotline: +84 916-545-618 or send an email to hung.le@cnccounsel.com and  thanh.tran@cnccounsel.com.

a boutique law firm dedicated to providing one-stop legal services to foreigners in Vietnam.