‘China’s New Marriage Law May Exacerbate Gender Wealth Gap’

China Debate has an article looking at how reforms in the Marriage Law are unfair to women who may have invested equally with their husbands in joint property, but can’t claim any right to it in a divorce:

China’s Supreme People’s Court has just issued a new interpretation of the country’s Marriage Law to state that after divorce, marital property belongs solely to the person who took out a mortgage and registered as home owner.

Most residential property is registered to the husband. Even if the wife and her family made substantial contributions toward the purchase and maintenance of the mortgage, the wife loses it all to the husband when they divorce.

Didn’t China fight a revolution to, among other things, make sure things like this don’t happen?

31-year-old Anna Li[1] has a successful career as a real estate agent in Beijing but no home of her own. Her parents bought a house for her brother so that he could marry, but did not buy one for her because she is female. Li plans to marry soon, but her fiancé could not afford a home, so she used her savings to help him buy a Beijing apartment in his name alone. She feels that it is important to support his sense of manhood. But China’s Supreme People’s Court has just issued a new interpretation of the country’s Marriage Law to state that after divorce, marital property belongs solely to the person who took out a mortgage and registered as home owner. That means despite Wang’s financial contribution, the property she helped buy belongs solely to her boyfriend.

September 6, 2011 10:15 PM
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Categories: Economy, Law, Society