Common property of husband and wife in Vietnam

Common property of husband and wife in Vietnam

I am an expat living in Da Nang, Vietnam, married to a Vietnamese wife 04 years ago. We are planning to buy a house from local people in Vietnam. I have learn that the Vietnamese law does not permit foreigner to own property in non-commercial housing projects, so I have to sign a document showing that the property is the separate property of my wife. Could you advise me if there are any measures I can take in advance to protect myself from risk of losing all assets if I and my wife have disputes ? 

Hi!

The process and the documentation involved in the property transaction in Vietnam are complicated and are often beyond the comprehension of a normal expat. So, it is advisable for foreigners to consult legal opinion before entering into a property transaction in Vietnam to self-protect with respect to the property.

Common property of husband and wife in Vietnam

Common property of husband and wife includes property created by a spouse, incomes generated from labor, production and business activities, yields and profits arising from separate property and other lawful incomes in the marriage period; except the case prescribed in Clause 1, Article 40 of this Law; property jointly inherited by or given to both, and other property agreed upon by husband and wife as common property. The land use rights obtained by a spouse after marriage shall be common property of husband and wife, unless they are separately inherited by, or given to a spouse or are obtained through transactions made with separate property. Common property of husband and wife shall be under integrated common ownership and used to meet family needs and perform common obligations of husband and wife. When there is no ground to prove that a property in dispute between husband and wife is his/her separate property, such property shall be regarded as common property (Article 33 Law on Family and Marriage 52/2014/QH13 dated June 19, 2014).

Co-ownership between husbands and wives in Vietnam

Joint ownership between a husband and wife is divisible joint ownership.

A husband and wife jointly create and develop their marital property through their efforts and have equal rights to possess, use and dispose of such property.  A husband and wife shall discuss, agree on or authorize each other in relation to the possession, use and disposal of the marital property. The marital property may be divided as agreed or pursuant to a decision of a court. If a husband and wife select the regulations on property under agreement as prescribed in law on marriage and families, the marital property shall apply those regulations (Article 213 The Civil Code No.91/2015/QH13 dated  November 24, 2015).

In conclusion, income  earned by either spouse during marriage and property bought with those earnings are considered common property that is owned equally by husband and wife. Therefore, if you have concerns and want to prevent from disputes, you and your wife should both have names on the purchasing documents and have agreement with your spouse. In case the foreigner is not permitted to have the property title, your Vietnamese wife shall be named in the title certificate. In such event, you still have evidence to prove this is a common property.

Related topics:

Making a written will ?

Heirs notwithstanding contents of wills in Vietnam

How to register for acknowledgement of paternity in Vietnam ?

Consulting services:

Phone: 0914 165 703 or Email: dmslawfirm@gmail.com

Co-ownership between husbands and wives in Vietnam

Prepared by:
Thi-Ha Nguyen, Lawyer’s assistant
DMS Law firm in Vietnam
Director
(Signed)
Lawyer Do Minh Son

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