How is a divorce mediation conducted?

The State shall encourage, and the parties may choose, grassroots-level conciliation when there is a conflict between husband and wife. The grassroots conciliation can be initiated by the Head of the grassroots-level conciliation team or its members as well as at the request of an agency, organization, individual or at the request of either the husband or wife or from both spouses.

The conciliation teams are self-managed organizations of citizens, established in villages, communes, hamlets, street residential groups, and residential clusters.  The team leaders and members are selected and nominated by the Fatherland Front Committees of communes or wards, in collaboration with member organizations of the Committees, to be elected the people and recognized by the People’s Committee at the same level. The conciliation team has the right to mediate disputes over legitimate rights and interests arising from the legal relationship of marriage and family and related fields.

The conciliation at the grassroots may be conducted verbally or in writing (minutes) if the parties request or agree. The conciliation team members may meet with each party or all parties during the conciliation.

After studying the issues, the causes of conflicts, and seeking the parties’ opinions, the conciliation team members will persuade the parties to reach an agreement in accordance with the law, social ethics, good customs and request that they voluntarily implement such agreement. 

The conciliation at the grassroots level is not compulsory or coerced by sanctions from the State.

  • Mediation at the People’s Court.

Before convening a trial of the first instance in divorce cases, the court is required to conduct a mediation.  A divorce at the request of the husband or wife is one type of case which is required to be mediated by law (unless it is not possible to be mediated).

As such, in any unilateral divorce or mutually agreed divorce, the Court must still conduct the mediation process in an attempt to heal the spousal relationship.

The mediation by the court is a procedural act of the judge to guide the litigants to negotiate and discuss any contentious issues and disagreements.  The purpose of the mediation is to help the spouses recognize their faults and reunite with each other.  A successful mediation is when the Court conducts a mediation and the parties understand and reunite with each other after it is completed.

Mediation by the Court is conducted by the judge who is assigned to resolve the case.  If the mediation is successful, the Court will prepare a writing to this effect.  If the mediation is unsuccessful, the Court will bring the case to trial.

The mediation with the Court is a compulsory procedure prior to the first instance trial and shall be enforced by the State.  If the Court does not conduct the mediation in a divorce case, it is considered a serious violation of civil procedure.

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