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RFA: Divorce, Restoration of Marriage and Buying House, a Phenomenon with Chinese Characteristics

Radio Free Asia carried an article commenting on the latest news about divorce, restoration of marriage, and buying a house, an interesting phenomenon that has been taking place in China in recent years. The article said that the Chinese media published news articles on March 20 that stated that the rate of restored marriages in China has grown in recent years. The majority were couples who had filed for divorce in 2013 because of the benefit of gain in their property taxes. According to the article, in 2014, the marriage restoration rate in Shanghai went up by 18 percent compared to 2013 and reached a record high. The article said that back in 2013, the central government introduced a set of rules in order to curb the overheated housing market. One of those was a 20 percent tax imposed on the gain from the sale of a property. The exception to the rule was where the couple owned two housing properties. If they filed for divorce, they would gain (separate) ownership of one of the properties and the 20 percent property tax on the gain would be exempt. Following the introduction of this rule, a number of major official media reported that, in large cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, people had to wait in line to file for divorce. In an interview with Radio Free Asia, a real estate lawyer in China denied that the marriage restoration rate had anything to do with the housing policy, while another person who is a U.S. resident told Radio Free Asia that this type of phenomenon may appear to be inconceivable to the people who have lived in the US for a long period of time but it is in fact a social phenomenon which resulted from the fast economic development that took place in China.

Source: Radio Free Asia, March 20, 2015