A divorce of convenience

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, November 11, 2010
Adjust font size:

When Hu Yanhua and Zhang Lei decided to get divorced last month, neither had any intention of ending their marriage.

A marriage certificate (left) and a divorce certificate (right).

A marriage certificate (left) and a divorce certificate (right).

Hu, 36, a bank teller in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, had simply wanted to bypass official regulations imposing tougher conditions on couples looking to buy a second home. She and her husband Zhang, 37, planned to get back together again after making the purchase.

Local authorities released a regulation in May stipulating that each household could only buy one new flat, and would have to pay a prohibitive 50 percent down payment if they wanted to do so.

The simplest way to get around the regulation was to get a divorce.

Hu got what she wanted: a new flat under her name, but also something that was not part of the deal. Her now ex-husband wanted to stay divorced.

"I found that I had more opportunities to date female colleagues that I have admired for a long time. And after getting divorced, I have found a good excuse to unburden myself of my family responsibility," Zhang told the Global Times.

"My husband told me that he felt free after the divorce and does not want to remarry me. We didn't have any arguments during our eight-year marriage. We have a seven-year-old daughter. How can I take care of her if my husband doesn't come back to me?" Hu said, sobbing as she spoke to the Global Times.

Hu is also worried about the financial strain caused by paying off the new flat. "I have to pay the mortgage on the new flat all by myself for the next 30 years because it is under my name," she said.

Swift results

Authorities across the country, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, have imposed restrictions on household purchases of second flats in a bid to curb soaring property prices. One measure was a higher down payment on a second property.

If a couple get divorced and buy a flat under individual names, only 30 percent needs to be submitted as down payment, the Fujian-based Southeast Express reported.

The effect of the regulation was swift. A report by China.com said 44 couples divorced within 10 days of the regulation's release in Sanya, Hainan Province, in April. In Nanjing, 3,843 couples got divorced in March and April.

An official surnamed Si from the Bureau of Civil Affairs in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, told the Global Times that more than 50 couples divorced last month to bypass the property purchase restrictions, making up about 10 percent of the city's total divorce cases. And they were not shy about why they were doing it.

"They told us they wanted a divorce just because they wanted to buy a new property," Si said. "They said they would remarry soon."

1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter