THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
Hanoi, June 26, 2014
Pursuant to the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;
The National Assembly promulgates the Law on Marriage and Family.
Article 1. Scope of regulation
This Law prescribes the marriage and family regime, legal standards for conduct by family members; responsibilities of individuals, organizations, the State and society in the building and consolidation of the marriage and family regime.
Article 2. Fundamental principles of the marriage and family regime
1. Voluntary, progressive and monogamous marriage in which husband and wife are equal.
2. Marriage between Vietnamese citizens of different nationalities or religions, between religious and non-religious people, between people with beliefs and people without beliefs, and between Vietnamese citizens and foreigners shall be respected and protected by law.
3. To build prosperous, progressive and happy families; family members have the obligation to respect, attend to, care for, and assist one another; to treat children without discrimination.
4. The State and society and families shall protect and support children, elderly people and persons with disabilities in exercising marriage and family rights; assist mothers in properly fulfilling their lofty motherhood functions; and implement family planning.
5. To perpetuate and promote the Vietnamese nation’s fine cultural traditions and ethics on marriage and family.
Article 3. Interpretation of terms
In this Law, the terms below are construed as follows:
1. Marriage means the relation between husband and wife after they get married.
2. Family means a group of persons closely bound together by marriage, blood ties or raising relations, thus giving rise to obligations and rights among them as prescribed in this Law.
3. Marriage and family regime means all provisions of law on marriage, divorce; rights and obligations between husband and wife, parents and children, and among other family members; support; identification of parents and children; marriage and family relations involving foreign elements and other matters related to marriage and family.
4. Marriage and family practices means rules of conduct with clear contents on rights and obligations of parties in marriage and family relations, which are repetitive over a long period of time and widely accepted in an area, a region or a community.
5. Getting married means a man and a woman’s establishment of the husband and wife relation according to the provisions of this Law on marriage conditions and registration.
6. Illegally marriage means a man and a woman’s marriage already registered at a competent state agency in which either or both of them violate(s) the marriage conditions prescribed in Article 8 of this Law.
7. Cohabitation as husband and wife means a man and a woman’s organization of their living together and consideration of themselves as husband and wife.
8. Underage marriage means getting married when one or both partners has or have not reached the marriage age prescribed at Point a, Clause 1, Article 8 of this Law.
9. Forcing marriage or divorce means threatening, intimidating spiritually, maltreating, ill-treating, demanding property or another act to force a person to get married or to divorce against his/her will.
10. Obstructing marriage or divorce means threatening, intimidating spiritually, maltreating, ill-treating, demanding property or another act to obstruct the marriage of a person eligible to get married under this Law or to force a person to maintain the marriage relation against his/her will.
11. Sham marriage means making use of a marriage for the purpose of immigration, residence or naturalization in Vietnam or a foreign country; for enjoying preferential regimes of the State or for another purpose other than that of building a family.
12. Demanding property in marriage means making excessive material demand and considering it a marriage condition in order to obstruct a voluntary marriage between a man and a woman.
13. Marriage period means the duration of existence of the husband and wife relation, counting from the date of marriage registration to the date of marriage termination.
14. Divorce means termination of the husband and wife relation under a court’s legally effective judgment or decision.
15. Sham divorce means making use of a divorce to shirk property obligations or violate the policy and law on population or for another purpose other than that of terminating a marriage.
16. Family members include husband, wife; natural parent, adoptive parent, stepfather, stepmother, parent-in-law; natural child, adopted child, stepchild, child-in-law; full sibling, paternal half-sibling, maternal half-sibling, brother- or sister-in law of full sibling, paternal half-sibling or maternal half-sibling; paternal grandparent, maternal grandparent; paternal grandchild, maternal grandchild; blood paternal aunt, maternal aunt, paternal uncle, maternal uncle, niece and nephew.
17. People of the same direct blood line are those in the consanguineous relationship in which a person gives birth to another in a successive order.
18. Relatives within three generations are people born of the same stock with parents constituting the first generation; full siblings, paternal half-siblings and maternal half-siblings constituting the second generation; and children of paternal aunts, maternal aunts, paternal uncles, maternal uncles constituting the third generation.
19. Next of kin include people with marriage relation or raising relation, people of the same direct blood line and relatives within three generations.
20. Essential needs means ordinary needs for food, clothing, accommodation, learning, medical care and other ordinary needs which are indispensable in the life of each person and family.
21. Giving birth with assisted reproductive technology means giving birth through artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.
22. Altruistic gestational surrogacy means a pregnancy carried voluntarily for non-commercial purpose by a woman for a couple of whom the wife is unable to carry a pregnancy and give birth even if assisted reproductive technology is applied. The voluntary gestational carrier is impregnated and gives birth through the transfer into her uterus of an embryo created by in vitro fertilization from the ovule of the wife and sperm of the husband.
23. Commercial gestational surrogacy means a pregnancy carried by a woman for another person through assisted reproductive technology for enjoying economic or other benefits.
24. Support means an act whereby a person has the obligation to contribute money or other kinds of property to meet the essential needs of another person who does not live together with but has marriage, blood or raising relation with the former and is a minor or an adult who has no working capacity and no property to support himself/herself, or meets with financial difficulties as prescribed by this Law.
25. Marriage and family relation involving foreign elements means the marriage and family relation in which at least one partner is a foreigner or an overseas Vietnamese or in which partners are Vietnamese citizens but the bases for establishing, changing or terminating that relation are governed by a foreign law, or that relation arises abroad or the property related to that relation is located abroad.
Article 131. Transitional provisions
1. Marriage and family relations established before this Law takes effect shall be settled in accordance with the law on marriage and family applicable at the time of establishment.
2. For cases and matters of marriage and family received by courts before this Law takes effect but not yet settled by the courts, the procedures prescribed in this Law shall apply.
3. This Law shall not be applied to lodging protests according to cassation or review trial procedures with regard to cases and matters which courts have settled in accordance with the law on marriage and family effective before the effective date of this Law.
This Law takes effect on January 1, 2015.
Marriage and Family Law No. 22/2000/QH10 ceases to be effective on the date this Law takes effect.
Article 133. Detailing and implementation guidance
The Government shall detail articles and clauses as assigned in this Law.
The Supreme People’s Court shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Supreme People’s Procuracy and the Ministry of Justice in, guiding articles and clauses as assigned in this Law.
This Law was passed on June 19, 2014, by the VIIIth National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at it's 7th session.-
CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY