Can I Divorce My Wife if She Lives in China and I Live in Another Country?
You can file for divorce with either a court in your country or a Chinese court.
1. File for divorce with a court in your country
In divorce proceedings, if the court in your country allows your wife not to appear in person or allows remote appearance by video and other means, you can consider filing for divorce with a court in your country.
Once you have the divorce judgment, you can apply to a Chinese court for recognition of such judgment. Upon recognition by the Chinese court, the divorce comes into effect in China.
After the judgment becomes effective in China, you can claim the distribution of community property in China based on the judgment.
2. File for divorce with a Chinese court
Even if you cannot be physically present in China, you can still file for divorce with a Chinese court.
In case that you cannot personally file a lawsuit with a Chinese court and appear in a Chinese court, you need to appoint a Chinese lawyer to represent you in the divorce proceedings.
To this end, you need to prepare a series of documents and have them notarized and authenticated at the Chinese embassy/consulate(s) in your country. And then you should mail them to your Chinese lawyer for use in litigation.
In divorce proceedings, you should still appear in court as much as possible under Chinese law, even if you have a lawyer.
This is because a Chinese judge will only grant the divorce if he/she believes that mutual affection no longer exists between the two parties. In the absence of your appearance in court, the judge cannot determine whether mutual affection exists between you based on the lawyer’s words alone.
However, if you are truly unable to appear in court in China due to special reasons, you shall present your opinion in writing to the people’s court, to apply for exemption from appearing in court.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Chinese courts allow overseas parties to appear remotely via video and other means when they are unable to appear in divorce proceedings personally. You can also try to apply to the court for a remote appearance.
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- Does China Have Alimony?The answer is NO. There is no alimony in China.
- What Is Community Property Law in China?￼There is no community property law in China. But you can find the relevant articles in “China’s Civil Code of China: Book V Marriage and Family”.
- Do I Have to Support My Ex Wife after Divorce in China?￼The answer is NO. You don’t have to support your ex-wife after divorce in China.
- Can I Divorce My Wife if She Lives in China and I Live in Another Country?You can file for divorce with either a court in your country or a Chinese court.
- Does China Have Spousal Support?The answer is NO. There is no spousal support or Alimony in China.
- What Do You Do With the House in a Divorce in China?If you and your spouse need to divide a house at divorce, there are three ways: (1) one party gets the house and the other gets cash; (2) both parties get cash; (3) the two parties share the house on a pro rata basis.
- 4 Tips on How Is Property Divided in a Divorce in ChinaThe husband and wife may negotiate to determine the property division plan. If there is no property division agreement, the personal property remains the property of that spouse alone and the marital property may be split 50/50 between the couple.
- How Do Foreigners Get a Divorce in China?There are three ways for foreigners to get a divorce in China: divorce registration by agreement, filing a divorce lawsuit, and the recognition of foreign divorce judgment in China.
- What Is Separate Property in Divorce in China?If a property is the separate property of one spouse, then in the event of a divorce, it remains the property of that spouse alone and will not be divided or acquired by the other spouse.
- What’s Considered Marital Property in Divorce in China?If a property is marital property, it will be divided equally between the spouses on a 50/50 basis in the event of a divorce.