8 Tháng Mười Một, 2023

Is a relationship contract illegal in Viet Nam?

Issue: Hello, Lawyer. A man and I have mutually agreed on a 4-year relationship contract because I want to commit to a long-term relationship with him. The contract includes provisions for mental care, material support, and communication via text messages. My question is whether this contract is legal or not.


Hello Reader, thank you for trusting to use the legal consulting service of Nghiep Thanh Law, we have received the information you provided and we would like to share the following legal opinions with you:

1. Contract

A contract is an “agreement of both parties” to enter into a contractual relationship and it is a form of civil transaction, with provisions on the “establishment, change or termination of civil rights and obligations[1].

2. Relationship contract

Currently, Vietnamese law does not have regulations on relationship contract. In principle, a relationship contract is made based on an agreement on the rights, interests and responsibilities of both parties to the contract based on the emotional affairs and the parties of the contract must have full capacity to act..

A civil transaction is “a unilateral legal contract or act that gives rise to, changes or terminates civil rights and obligations[2], expressed in words, in writing, or in specific actions[3].

Therefore, the relationship contract is a civil transaction.

3. Legal provisions on relationship contracts

Laws do not have regulations on prohibiting parties from making relationship contracts, but a relationship contract will be invalid in the following cases[4]:

– The contract is involuntarily made;

– Contracting parties do not have civil legal capacity or civil act capacity, or they are minors or people with cognitive impairment when entering into the contract;

– The contents, terms and conditions of the contract are contrary to the laws and against social ethics;

– The contract is made by falsifying, coercing, or threatening

So, if the relationship contract is not the case listed above, it is valid.

In your case, you only provide the information that “Under the contract, there is an agreement on mental care, material support, and communication via text messages”, so we do not know that those terms and conditions are agreed upon in detail. Therefore, we make some assumptions below for your reference to avoid breaking the laws.

Presumption: The contract has a clause agreed on the exchange of material, time and spirit for the purpose of sexual relations (sexual intercourse):

A contract when there is an agreement on the exchange of material and time, the spirit for the purpose of sexual relations (sexual intercourse) is a sign of engaging in prostitution as prescribed in Article 3 of Ordinance 10/2003/PL-UBTVQH11.

Depending on different cases, people engaging in prostitution may be subject to “a fine of between VND 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 for acts of buying sex[5], “warning fine or a fine of from VND 300,000 to VND 500,000 for prostitution[6] or criminal prosecution.

Conclusion: If the relationship contract between you and the man is not the case where the contract is void and the terms and conditions of the contracts do not show the engaging in prostitution, your relationship contract is not illegal.

The content above is the legal opinion on the issue of “Is the relationship contract illegal in Viet Nam?” that Nghiep Thanh Law share with you.

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Translator: Le Khanh Linh

Content writer: Huynh Ngoc Phuong Thao

Instructor: Nguyen Linh Chi

Admin: Lawyer Thuan

[1] Article 385 Civil Code 2015.

[2] Article 116 Civil Code 2015.

[3] Article 119.1 Civil Code 2015.

[4] Article 117 Civil Code 2015.

[5] Article 24. 1 Decree 144/2021/ND-CP.

[6] Article 25.1 Decree 144/2021/ND-CP.

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