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How long is a divorce process?

When a marriage is on the edge of a breakdown, perhaps a divorce is a final solution to end all disagreements, arguments and sufferings for insiders.

Once couples finally get going with the divorce, besides all the questions related to property and common child, they often wonder: “How long is a divorce process?”.  Because there are many divorce cases that have lasted for several years, eventually making them exhausted.

Therefore, there are many factors affecting how long or short a divorce process is.  However, here are three key factors:

  1. Is the case contested or uncontested?

Dispute is probably the main cause affecting the time to settle a divorce.

If both parties agree on issues like property and children, the Court will resolve in accordance with civil procedures.  Consequently, processing time will be shorter and faster.

If either of them unilaterally disagrees or disputes arise from any party, it becomes a civil case and must be resolved at the Court.  With this procedure, the divorce settlement process will take more time depending on the nature of each case.

  1. How cooperative both parties are when dealing with financial matters.

When the divorce is determined, it immediately goes to “discovery phase” to identify all property that is deemed to divide.  The parties must produce any document to show each other that his or her property is marital or non-marital.  If any is trying to hide the ball, then it takes longer.

Obviously at the beginning of marriage, if the parties have a clear division and agreement on marital and separate property (such as the prenuptial agreement or an agreement to divide marital property), the property division settlement upon divorce will be more convenient and faster.

Or in the case the couple requests the Court to settle the property division upon divorce and the parties are transparent and honest in showing marital property formed during the marriage period, it significantly reduces the time of settlement.

Conversely, if the couple does not have a clear separation of financial matters during the marriage period, and when divorce happens, also the parties intentionally try to disperse, or conceal the marital property of the couple, the determination will take lots of time and probably they have to request the Court to verify and collect documents and evidence.

The execution of this work will greatly affect the time of divorce settlement.  The more dishonest and more evasive the parties deliberately try to be, the longer the Court’s resolution process is.

  1. The Civil Procedure for resolving civil cases.

The procedure for resolving a divorce case is the same as other civil cases.  That means a divorce case must comply with civil procedures.

From the date of acceptance of the divorce case to the date of trial, it can undergo a lot of conciliation processes, and maybe even suspended for some reasons.

However, although the case is brought to trial and then has a judgment, it is still unlikely to be the final result.  Because that judgment may be appealed or protested.  In reality, there are many cases having to go through stages such as first-instance, appellate, and even cassation or reopening trial.

In addition, if the divorce case involves with foreigners where the other spouse is absent or is not present in Vietnam, the Court must enforce the judicial entrustment procedure in accordance with provisions.  And in fact, judicial entrustment takes some time to wait for results.

Thus, although the law has specific provisions, the time to settle a divorce case is still difficult to determine.  It can be several months, or it can take several years.   However, based on actual cases, the time to settle a divorce short or long depends on the wishes of the parties in the case.   It means that their desires and needs are the key to solve all problems.