Divorce Procedure in China

Divorce Procedure in China

Updated on Friday 21st July 2017

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Dissolving a marriage in China can take place whether by settling an agreement or by litigation. The couples who want to obtain the divorce need to understand the rules and regulations in this matter, if children or assets are involved, in order to choose the proper solution. Our lawyers in China are able to provide you with legal support and representation in the court of law if you decide to divorce from your partner. A proper counseling in your case is recommended, especially if you are a foreigner married to a Chinese citizen.

Divorce by agreement in China

The easiest way to end a marriage in China is to request a divorce by agreement. In this case, both the husband and the wife decide that, due to certain reasons, the marriage can no longer function. The legal procedures, in this case, are fast and involve low costs. The Marriage Registration Offices in China handle this type of divorce. The documents that need to be provided by the couple filing for divorce are:
- residence certificate;
- identification documents;
- marriage certificate;
- divorce agreement signed by both parties out of free will;
- photos.
Special regulations apply when the marriage was concluded in another country and the marriage certificate was issued by a foreign government. In this case, the only possible divorce procedure is to request a divorce by litigation. However, with the help of a lawyer in China, this procedure should be straightforward. We can also help you divide any assets, like any properties in China that were purchased during the marriage.

Divorce by litigation in China

When the spouses are both Chinese and cannot mutually agree to end the marriage, one of the parties can appeal to a people’s court in China which will decide upon the divorce. A divorce by litigation requires more steps and will last longer. Also, this type of procedure will involve more costs. If the judge’s decision is against divorce, the plaintiff can appeal the judgment six months after it was issued.

The difference between divorce and legal separation in China

From the beginning, it is good to know that a legal separation is different from a divorce procedure in China. A legal separation in China is a temporary solution for couples who need some time to consider the aspects and the problems in their marriage, with the purpose of reconciliation and eventually the avoidance of the divorce procedure. Furthermore, a legal separation in China can take between one to five years, and if the reconciliation is not possible, the divorce proceedings will be intended. Foreign citizens married to a Chinese and deciding to divorce or to legally separate should consider that the authorities will need proof of at least one-year residency.

Other divorce procedures in China

If divorce by agreement is adopted by a couple formed by a Chinese citizen and a foreigner, the process may take up to one month. The confirmation of the divorce is made by the people’s court in China once the court hearing is closed. Foreigners married in China who want to file for divorce can choose the divorce settlement confirmation where the main aspects of their separation are mentioned in this document issued by the court.
Our law firm in China can offer you legal representation if you have entered a foreign related marriage in China and want to start the court proceedings for divorce, so please feel free to contact us.


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