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Reminder for lawyers: conditions for a foreign related divorce settlement

  • Time:2019-01-02
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Sometimes it isn’t feasible for two parties to just agree to divorce. Both parties must also be capable of agreeing on the divorce terms. If any of the parties have limited or no capability to agree, a divorce agreement cannot be used and only litigation can complete a divorce. In addition to agreeing on the divorce terms, when a divorce agreement is being handled, the following conditions must also be reached:

1.       The divorce must be voluntary for both parties. They should both clearly indicate their willingness to consent to a divorce with no signs of fraud or coercion.

2.       Both parties agree on matters including property division, child custody, and debts. If both sides cannot agree on these matters to submit a divorce agreement, it cannot be registered.

3.       The original marriage registration was handled in mainland China. If this is not the case, the divorce cannot be handled through a divorce agreement and only through litigation, even if both parties agree to the divorce. For couples who never registered a marriage and are considered cohabitating, the relationship can be directly dissolved without the need for registering a divorce.

Once a marriage is registered in mainland China, the two parties must obtain legal residence for the foreigner, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macau resident. The marriage registration office will not be able to register for a divorce if one party cannot express their wishes in Chinese with or without a third-party translation.

In addition to the marriage certificate and divorce agreement, overseas Chinese, foreigners, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau residents must issue their valid permits, identification cards, passports, and other international travel documents.

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