Is forcing a marriage against your will against the law?

To determine whether the act of forced marriage against one's will is a violation of the law or not, Vietpex invites readers to consider the following situation:

Through introduction, Ms. A's father learned that Mr. B's family was very rich. Mr. B had feelings for his daughter, so after a few times Mr. B went to Ms. C's house to visit and expressed his intention to marry her. Ms. A asked her to marry Mr. B even though she did not agree. Then, under mental pressure, Ms. A agreed to marry Mr. B. So in this situation, is Ms. A's father's behavior an act of forced marriage? And if so, is the above behavior illegal?

Cha mẹ có quyền ép buộc con cái kết hôn theo ý mình không ? Luật 24h

  • Concept of forced marriage

According to Clause 9, Article 3 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family, it is stipulated: “Forced marriage or divorce is the act of threatening, mentally intimidating, torturing, mistreating, demanding property or other acts to force another person to marry or divorce against their will.”

⇒Thus, Ms. A's father's behavior is considered an act of forced marriage against her will.

  • Whether the above behavior violates the law or not?

Pursuant to Point b, Clause 2, Article 5 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family, forced marriage is one of the strictly prohibited acts. 

In terms of marriage, at Point b, Clause 1, Article 8, the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family stipulates that "Marriage is voluntarily decided by men and women", therefore, in cases where men and women are Forced marriage against their will will be considered as not meeting the marriage conditions.

  • Penalties for forced marriage

According to Point c, Clause 2, Article 59 of Decree No. 82/2020/ND-CP stipulates:


“ 2. Fine from 10,000,000 VND to 20,000,000 VND for one of the following acts:

  1. c) Forced marriage or fraudulent marriage; forced divorce or fraudulent divorce;”

Therefore, the actions of Ms. A's father may be subject to an administrative fine of between 10 million and 20 million VND.

In addition, according to Article 181 of the 2015 Penal Code (amended and supplemented in 2017), which stipulates the crime of forced marriage, divorce or obstruction of voluntary, progressive marriage, obstruction of voluntary divorce, the person who forces another person to marry against their will, prevents another person from getting married or maintains a voluntary or progressive marital relationship, or forces or hinders another person to divorce by means of torture or ill-treatment , mentally threatening, demanding property or using other tricks, has been administratively sanctioned for this behavior but continues to violate it, will be subject to a warning, non-custodial reform for up to 03 years or sentenced to imprisonment from 03 months to 03 years. Thus, if Ms. A's father's behavior falls into this case, he may also be subject to a warning, non-custodial reform for up to 03 years or imprisonment from 03 months to 03 years.

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