Original article in the Swiss journal, “New Zurich”, of December 25, titled: Chinese people who want to divorce will have to wait for a while.
Starting from January next year, Chinese couples who want to divorce must first go through a 30-day “cooling-off period.” This has caused controversy on the Internet among young people.
Ms. Ye, 38, met her ex-husband at a party. Ye said: “In the beginning, the marriage was happy”. The ex-husband’s monthly income was only 4,000 yuan. He is the only son and the “Mambo” in the family. Ye has his own jewelry store, two apartments and a BMW in Beijing. She is responsible for housework and gives her husband the pocket money. When Ye said he wanted children, she asked, “Where will the money come from?” She came to the conclusion: “If the problems in marriage cannot be resolved, divorce is only a matter of time”.
Nearly three-quarters of divorce cases in China in 2016 and 2017 were filed by women. Ye represents many well-educated, high-income women in China who would rather divorce than maintain an unfortunate marriage. But divorce is still a taboo topic in China, especially among the older generation.
In the past few decades, China’s divorce rate has continued to rise, while the birth rate has continued to fall. On the one hand, the number of marriages in China has decreased, and many Chinese people get married later. This is also in line with global trends. On the other hand, divorce procedures have become more and more convenient in China in recent years. Now, according to the new “Civil Code” that will take effect in January next year, a 30-day “cooling-off period” will be introduced for those seeking divorce. After lapse of this period of time, the couple who filed for divorce must reconfirm the divorce application together.
In the past few months, the “cooling-off period” has triggered widespread discussions in Chinese society and the Internet. A WeChat user said: “The government may want young people to take marriage seriously. However, this cooling-off period is a compulsory measure that turns the personal relationship between two people into a public affair”. There are also lawyers who believe that a divorce is set”. The cooling-off period will only extend an unhappy marriage for another month.
But can the “cooling-off period” really reduce the divorce rate? For lawmakers, setting up a “divorce cooling-off period” is to prevent impulsive divorce. This aims to reduce social problems related to divorce and better protection of the stability of the family and the best interests of the child.