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Foreign Nationals Divorce in China - A Brief Q&A

There are many foreign nationals marry Chinese ladies. Unfortunately, a significant percent of the cross-culture marriage end up in divorce. The exact percentage is unclear, but I do receive many divorce inquiries from other nations every month. Below is a brief summary of foreign related divorce in China.

My marriage is registered in China. Can I divorce in China?

Yes, you can.

My marriage is registered in a foreign country other than China. Can I divorce in China?

Yes, you can.

If my wife refuses to divorce, Can I divorce in China?

Yes, you can. But you can only divorce through court proceedings.

How can I get divorce in China?

Either through divorce registry or through court proceedings. If both parties agree, divorce through divorce registry is the simplest way. Through court is also possible for agreed upon divorce. If either party disagree, court proceeding is the only way.

How long it takes to divorce in China?

Divorce in the marriage registry is an onsite thing and you get divorce certificate instantly. The time period for divorce in court varies. Non-contested divorce in court takes around one week or two. Contested divorce in court can take one year or two.

Can the divorce judgment be recognized in my own country other than China?

Yes. Divorce judgment can be recognized and enforceable in most countries, as long as the judgment meets certain requirements by your own country's judicial precedent or statute.

What if we live overseas after marriage?

Well, this is a bit complicated. In some situation and in some court, they won't accept your divorce claim if your wife has been living in a foreign country for more than one year after the marriage. It really depends.

How much is the attorney fee to represent me in the divorce proceeding?

It depends. I charged a flat fee of US$5,000 to US$7,000 covering all the attorney fee involved in a single proceeding. What extra fees you are responsible for are court fees and traveling cost.

What if I have specific questions?

Send me email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I reply in one day or two. We are China divorce lawyers and we handle divorce cases representing foreign nationals and expats across China.


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I am a licensed China lawyer. Most clients are foreign nationals and companies. China Lawyer Blog have associates in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Hainan, Hefei, Wuhan, Xian, Changsha, Xiamen and Hangzhou. Learn More

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China Lawyer BLog AuthorPeter Zhu, an experienced China attorney licensed to practice law for more than ten years, the author of this China Lawyer blog, welcomes any enquiry or consultation related to Chinese law.