The Vietnam Family and Marriage Act 2014 has officially been passed and will take effect from Jan 1st, 2015. The Vietnam law on Marriage and Family in 2014 has the following notable update:
Same-sex marriage is not banned but not yet officially recognized
The Law on Marriage and Family in 2014 abolishes the regulations that “prohibit marriage between people of the same sex,” but specifically “does not recognize marriages between people of the same sex as stipulated in clause 2 Article 8 “. Accordingly, people of the same sex can get married but their marriage will not be protected by law when disputes occur. This is however considered a development in the law taking consideration of the situation in Vietnam.
Raising the age of marriage
The new law defined marriage age for women from the age of 18 or more for women and men from all 20 years or older. The reason for this change is because if the minimum age of marriage for women is just about to turn 18, the rules are not consistent with the Vietnam Civil Code and the Civil Procedure Code. According to the Vietnam Civil Code, person under 18 years old is a minor, as such requires the legal representative agreement in civil transactions. According to the Vietnam Civil Procedure Code, people of at least 18 years old will have full capacity for civil conduct proceedings.
Surrogacy arrangement is accepted
The Vietnam Marriage and Family Law 2014 officially allows surrogacy for humanitarian purposes. The surrogacy is applied only when the adequate conditions for both surrogate mothers and intended parents are met. In particular, the law only allows relatives from husband or wife to be surrogate mother. This will also be considered as a development in the Vietnam Marriage and Family Law 2014.
Assets division during marriage
Law in developed countries recognize the prenuptial agreement which is signed between people before getting married. Vietnam law does not consider marriage as a contract. In the meantime, the current regulations of Vietnam Marriage and Family law are unclear on ownership of common and private assets and properties. It mainly refers to land issues while other assets such as securities and share ownership in the enterprise are not mentioned, making it difficult to resolve the disputes arisen. The Law on Marriage and Family 2014 specifically regulates the agreement between people before getting married on the assets and properties. Such agreement must be in writing, notarized or authenticated before marriage. This agreement could be changed during the marriage.
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