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Draft marriage law under debate

Draft marriage law under debate
0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, November 20, 2010
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China may recognize pre-marital property as buyer's personal assets. This is part of the Supreme People's Court's latest interpretation of the new marriage law.

It's the first court paper to touch on the property issue since mortgages became more common in China, and housing prices jumped to a new high.

The interpretation also clarifies some other thorny issues, including mistresses. Yuan Xiaoyuan takes a look at the controversial court paper, and what impact it may have on current and would-be couples.

Each year, millions of Chinese people get married, but the latest interpretation may cause those with marriage plans to think twice.

It touches on real estate ownership after divorce, a major source of assets disputes for divorced couples.

It is now clear that if one person pays the down payment, and registers the home under his or her name before the marriage, that person will be entitled to keep the property after a divorce. This means the other part may not enjoy property assets after divorce, even if he or she paid parts of the mortgage debt before. Instead, they can only get the money equivalent to their payment for the mortgage debt.

Also homes registered under one persons name, but purchased by his or her parents, will be considered to be that person's own property, not the common property of the couple.

This is quite different from the current situation, where both husband and wife own the property, no matter who bought it. The traditional thoughts make many find the new rules unacceptable.

Opposer, said, "It's unreasonable. Property is undoubtedly the common asset of married couples."

"Do you need to separate the assets that clearly? We are one family after all. "

Street interviews show that 90 percent of female respondents oppose the new rules, while the same proportion of male respondents support it.

Supporter, said, "It's reasonable. The property should be owned by those who bought it."

This is because the husband is usually obliged to buy property according to traditional Chinese customs. A divorce now would no longer mean huge financial losses for them.

But experts warn that the new marriage law needs to consider the interests of the disadvantaged side.

Tan Jun, Lawyer, Guangzhou Datong Law Firm, said, "The law can protect those who have their own property, but it also needs to clarify measures to protect the rights of those without property."

The interpretation of the draft marriage law has opened up public debates.

But for married couples, the meaning of love may not be gauged by properties.

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