Writer: Ngan Nguyen
Normally, husband and wife often agreed the child support amount and requested the competent court to record it in a divorce verdict/ judgment. For example, a divorce verdict recording that wife directly takes care of child and husband supports amount of VND3million per month until child become 18 years old. However, with the life and education cost for child increasing date by date, can the wife request for the child support increment?
Regarding the matter of child support after divorce in accordance with the current Vietnamese Law on Marriage and Family (“LMF”), BLawyers Vietnam would like to share with you some notes by this short article.
What do Vietnamese laws regulate the child support obligation after divorce?
LMF states that after divorce, the parent who does not directly raise the child shall support this child. This is not only his obligation but also his right to express some care toward the child.
The husband and the wife often determine the child support amount by an agreement. Or, if they fail to agree on this, either of them can request a Court to settle it. The child support amount is calculable by two aspects:
- The actual income and ability of the parent with the support obligation; and
- The needs of the child.
Such parents may provide the support amount on a monthly, quarterly, biannual, annual or one-off basis, depending on the agreement.
Can a party request for the child support increment after divorce?
Yes, (s)he can. The LMF allows the parents to increase child support level when there is a justified reason.
How to increase the child support level?
Like the process of determining child support, the parents should discuss and agree the increment to child support level at first. If both cannot reach an agreement on this, one of them may file a request to a Court to settling the increment.
How could the Court decide that a party has a justified reason as mentioned above? The plaintiff could consider the followings:
- The minimum costs of living, healthcare, education and other needs for the child have increased;
- The financial capability of the parent who is raising the child cannot cover these costs; and/ or
- The income of the parent with support obligation has increased significantly.
Of note, the Court requests the proofs for the above. They should be clear, plausible and lawful for higher chance of getting the Court’s approval. If the Court accepts the request of the plaintiff, the Court shall decide to adjust the child support level.
As a matter of fact, it is not easy to reach an agreement on increasing the child support without good intentions from both parents. Furthermore, the request for increasing child support is not always convincing to the Court if it lacks preparation. Even when the Court has accepted the request, the other side could not seriously implement such effective decision.
In conclusion, a party can request the Court for the child support increment after divorce. The plaintiff should comply with the regulations of the LMF about this matter.
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