Couples seeking divorce in China these days are rushing to complete the process soon. They are trying to get divorced by 31 December. The reason for this haste is that from January 1, 2021, the first civil code will come into force in the country. For this reason the law of divorce will change. The common understanding is that it will be difficult to divorce after January 1.
According to the website Sixton.com, the number of people coming out of the office completing the divorce process in Shanghai has doubled these days. Online slots for divorce process appointments in Guangzhou and Shenzhen provinces are fully filled. In many places, long lines have been seen outside the divorce office these days.
The new civil code was approved by China’s parliament in May this year. Its critics say that the divorce rules involved violate people’s freedom to get divorced. At the same time, the result will be an increase in domestic violence. So far, the divorce process in China is very easy. On applying, many times the Civil Affairs Bureau stamps the divorce within a day or two.
Divorce rates have steadily increased since 2003 in China. In 2019, 47 lakh couples formally completed the divorce process. In most cases the proposal of divorce comes from women. Women accounted for 74 percent of the total divorce cases reported last year. According to experts, the reason for this trend is the economic self-sufficiency in women and their changed attitude towards marriage. Despite this, divorce rates are still lower in China today than in Western countries.
According to the new rules, now couples seeking divorce before complete separation will have to go through a six-month total-off period. According to officials, the purpose of this new rule is to reduce the number of immediate angry divorce cases. Officials say that this rule has been made due to the increase in the cases of young couples getting divorced and getting divorced. Under this, the couple will be given six months time after filing for divorce. If even then both will be on the same conclusion that they cannot live together, then only their divorce will be approved.
But sociologists say that the New Testament will become an impediment to divorce. Wu Xiaoying, professor of sociology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told website Sixthon.com that the provision of a cool-off period is going to take society backward. This will be a hindrance to divorce, but it is not possible to reconcile broken relationships. Wu said that the government wants to bring stability in society and marital relations, but the unpopular policy among young people shows that marriage thinking has changed in the new generation.
Women’s rights activists say it is still not easy for wives of violent behavior to get divorced. They have to make their lives completely fresh. Now the situation may worsen in the six-month cool-off period. This provision of the new rule can cause problems. Even after the cool-off period, divorce will be obtained only when both parties agree to it. That is, if one party does not agree to divorce, then the application for divorce will be rejected. Women rights activists say that it is possible for a husband to change his opinion in six months. This will force many women to continue in the marital relationship enduring domestic violence.
However, government officials have clarified that the new provision will apply only to those cases in which the couple divorces on the basis of mutual consent. This will not apply to cases in which domestic violence is stated to be the cause of divorce. But women rights activists say that actually every divorce process will take at least two months to complete.