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Will Chinese Court Accept Parallel Divorce Litigation When Another Foreign Case is Going on?

Many clients consult with us that they have a divorce proceeding in their country, but the spouse does not disclose assets in China. In this case, can they still file a new divorce lawsuit in China court to achieve their goals?


Part 1 The Premise of Jurisdiction of Chinese Court over Parallel Proceeding

The issue of parallel proceedings often arises when either spouse files for divorce when they are of different nationalities or places of residence, including where one of the spouses initiates proceedings in the courts of two different countries, or where the parties file proceedings in separate countries.

Chinese laws clearly set out whether Chinese courts have jurisdiction over foreign-related divorce proceedings. In such cases, it is essential to determine where the marriage was registered and where the spouse settles, whether the spouse is a Chinese national, etc.

For example, if the Oversea Chinese has settled abroad, whether the marriage was registered at home or abroad, the Chinese courts will basically no longer accept divorce proceedings unless the foreign court refuses to accept the divorce case.

Another example is if the parties are married in China, and the spouse lives abroad but does not settled and has assets in China, then the divorce can be filed with the court of the spouse's domicile.

Even if the Chinese court have jurisdiction, the court may consider not accepting the case in accordance with Article 530 of the Interpretation of the Civil Procedure Law. In short, if the Chinese court reckons that it is more convenient for the parties to bring the divorce proceedings in the foreign court, the Chinese court will decline to take jurisdiction over this case.

Some couples may bring parallel proceedings to both foreign court and Chinese court. In the case of parallel proceedings, as long as the Chinese court has jurisdiction over the case according to law, the proceedings of the foreign court will not effect the jurisdic