07/10/2022 10:49

In Vietnam, Does a wife have the right to unilaterally divorce while her husband is in prison?

In Vietnam, Does a wife have the right to unilaterally divorce while her husband is in prison?

Nowadays, divorce is a word that is no longer strange to everyone. There are many reasons that many couples go to court to file for divorce, such as When out of love – divorce, adultery – divorce, finding out that it is not your child – divorce, wanting to divide property – divorce…. In this situation, some people agree while others disagree with divorce. Moreover, in some cases, both parties attended the court fully, and in some cases, one party was absent without reason. Therefore, when one party is serving a prison sentence, can the other get a unilateral divorce?

According to Clause 1, Article 51 and Clause 1, Article 56 of the Law on Marriage and Family 2014, the right to request a divorce and the conditions for divorce are as follows: 

Article 51. The right to request settlement of divorce

1. Husband or wife or both has or have the right to request a court to settle their divorce.

2. A parent or another next of kin of a spouse has the right to request a court to settle a divorce when the spouse is unable to perceive and control his/her acts due to a mental disease or another disease and is concurrently a victim of domestic violence caused by his/her spouse which seriously harms his/her life, health or spirit.

3. A husband has no right to request a divorce when his wife is pregnant, gives birth or is nursing an under-12-month child.

Article 56. Divorce at the request of one spouse

1. When a spouse requests a divorce and the conciliation at a court fails, the court shall permit the divorce if it has grounds to believe that a spouse commits domestic violence or seriously infringes upon the rights and obligations of the husband or wife, which seriously deteriorates the marriage and makes their common life no longer impossible and the marriage purposes unachievable.

2. When the spouse of a person who is declared missing by a court requests a divorce, the court shall permit the divorce.

3. For request for a divorce under Clause 2, Article 51 of this Law, a court shall permit the divorce if it has grounds to believe that the domestic violence committed by one spouse seriously harms the life, health or spirit of the other.

Typically, at the judgment 25/2018/HNGĐ-ST dated October 3, 2018 of the People's Court of Tuan Giao district, Dien Bien province, the trial of the divorce between the plaintiff, Ms. Cao Thi Th, residing at Ban T, M commune, T district, Dien Bien province and The defendant is Mr. Nguyen Huu P, residing at Block N, town G, district T, Dien Bien province, currently serving a prison sentence at Room 6, sub-camp 1, Prison N, town B, K district, Ha Nam province.

“The process of living together due to incompatibility, Mr. P broke the law and was sentenced and had to serve a prison sentence in prison N, province H, so the shared life between them arose in conflict and no happiness.

The People's Court of Tuan Giao district found that the conflict between Mr. P and Ms. Th had become serious, the common life could not be prolonged, the marriage purpose could not be achieved, so it should be based on Article 56 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family of Vietnam, accepting Ms. Th's request for divorce, and granted her permission to divorce Mr. P.

According to the above case, when a spouse goes to prison, the husband and wife cannot help each other, do not create conditions for each other to develop, and the relationship between them is also lost, leading to unfulfilled marriage goals. Therefore, the spouse is fully entitled to file for a unilateral divorce while his or her husband or wife is serving a prison sentence at the prison.


Thu Linh

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