China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs released a public report stating that over one million pairs of couples divorced in 2009, up 10.3% from the same period last year. While in 2010, nearly 5,000 married couples dealt with divorce registration everyday. China’s divorce rate has been steadily rising over the past ten years and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. According to the statistics in Beijing, more than 60% of divorced couples are between the ages of 30-40 years old. One reason for this uneven distribution could be that they are old enough to be over their “honey-moon stage,” but are still young enough to be exposed to the trends of China’s current cultural revolution. 47.5% off couples in this age group blamed big psychological difference between males and females as the main reason for their divorce.
Cost of divorce
The divorce process is never as easy as couples imagine because of the costs incurred as a result. There are total three costs involved for couples looking to divorce in China. The first cost comes from the children. Children growing up with a single parent will be faced with much more psychological and emotional problems than their peers who grows up in normal families. Parents will pay more in the future to remedy children’s psychological problems. Second, is the cost involved in the assignment of property. Property may suffer loss during the process of assignment because of the dispute. The third cost is social cost. Single-parent families receive increased subsidies from the government which increases total social expenditure for the government. Considering the three cost of divorce mentioned, Chinese couples should think twice before taking action. Divorce is not a simple individual issue but affects Chinese society as a whole.
Divorce is a complicated social phenomenon and affected and restrained by many factors such as career plans, income, preference, habits, physical situation. Generally Chinese divorce can be analyzed as follows: many young Chinese couples marry in haste and regret it in the future. Young couples are more likely to be impulsive when making a decision on marriage but later come to lose patience and tolerance when faced with quarrels. As a result, many marriages end in divorce. Another popular reason for divorce stems from economic issues. Usually when females earn more than males, women will transfer their attention to their careers rather than their children and housework which will result in less communication and a breakdown in relationships between couples. Third is simplification of divorce registration in China. These simplified divorce laws also state that whoever purchased the home of the couple gains sole ownership of the property. Thus, many couples who normally would be afraid of losing half of their property, no longer have to worry. Due to the simplicity of the Chinese divorce process, more Chinese couples are beginning to file for divorce. Fourth, Chinese parents are now beginning to separate to get their children into better schools. By divorcing, one of the parents is legally allowed to switch their place of residence and place their children in a school outside of their original residential district. Lastly, divorce allows couples looking to sell their home, a way to avoid the new 20% profit tax on property sales.
Picture Source: Chinese divorce