Mr. Li and Ms. Li got married in China in 1949 and have two daughters. Mr. Li immigrated to the US in 1957 and changed his nationality into the US in 1991. Ms. Zhang went to the US in 1975 for keeping the relationship. Since 1984, Mr. Li came back to China every year and has purchased three apartments. 4 years later, their marriage went bust. Mr. Li filed a petition to the US court and got the divorce verdict. In March 1991, Mr. Li returned to China and got hitched with his new girl friend in Ningbo. In December of the same year, Ms. Zhang filed a petition to Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court and claimed divorce, property division and children support cost. The questions in this case lie in: Do the Chinese court has the jurisdiction? Which law shall be applied?
Analysis: the US verdict is not legally binding in China because Mr. Li had never applied to the Chinese court to recognize the US verdict. The foreign verdict is effective in China only upon the Chinese court announces its recognition. After the applicant’s file, the court’s examination and the court’s announcement, a foreign verdict comes into force in China. In this case, the Chinese court has the jurisdiction, and Chinese laws shall be applicable to Ms. Zhang’s petition. According to Law on Application of Laws in Foreign-Related Civil Relations, when a Chinese divorces with foreigner, the law of the place where the case is flied shall be applied.
（This information is provided by Lawyer Kelly Xie from Guangdong KaiTong Law Firm in friendship. It is not any legal opinion or legal grounds addressed to any organization or individual. For inquiry, please contact Kelly via email at Kelly_xie@ktlf.com.cn or by phone on 13926185641.）