- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 612 Hour
- Reading permission
A Shanghai court that suggested couples spend 45 days "cooling off" after they applied for a divorce from June to October was slammed by experts as unnecessarily "interfering" with the freedom of marriage.
Couples who filed for divorce at the local court in Jing'an district were asked to spend 45 days "cooling off" to try to solve their problems under professional supervision and counselling, thepaper.cn reported Monday.
Du Ming, a judge at the court, told thepaper.cn that couples that accepted the court's suggestion received marital and psychological counselling provided by psychologists.
Separately, a system for monitoring the couple's relationship was also applied to evaluate their relationship during the "cooling-off period."
During the four months, 27 of the 67 couples who went through the "cooling-off period" decided to drop their divorce case and give their marriage another try, said thepaper.cn.
A couple surnamed Gao and Huang from Shanghai are one of the would-be divorcees who decided to give married life another chance.
Gao, the wife, decided to divorce Huang as he was a violent alcoholic. When the court persuaded them to take counseling they found they still have feelings for each other, thepaper.cn reported.
After the "cooling-off period," they decided to stay married as Gao's kindness and care for the family made Huang decide to quit drinking and apologize for his behavior, while Gao noticed her husband's change and gave him another chance.
Intervention against the law
Huang and Gao are among the lucky ones, while others are suspicious about the court's idea.
A woman surnamed Jia from Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, told the Global Times on Wednesday that she had been physically abused by her husband before she divorced him.
"It took me a lot of courage to finally divorce him. I cannot imagine what a buffer period would have done to me. He might already have beaten me to death then," said Jia.
The court's intervention is unnecessary as most couples do not make the decision to split lightly, said Jia
The courts' decision is actually against the law, Ren Chao, a Beijing-based divorce lawyer, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
"Psychologists responsible for the counselling have no right to interrupt the divorce," he said.
"Moreover, a court usually takes at least two months to hear the case after the applicants file the litigation, which gives them enough time to calm down," said Ren.
China's Marriage Law stipulates that any interference in the freedom of marriage is prohibited, Ren noted.
Altogether 3,840,000 couples divorced in 2015 in China, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to 2014, China News Service reported in July.
The high divorce rate worries the Chinese government as it may shake social stability, said Ren.
Despite the divorce rate, experts pointed out that getting a divorce in China is not easy, as some couples are hesitatant to air out their dirty laundry in court and the process can take years if one party does not cooperate.
Jia said that the court in Shenzhen refused her divorce application in the first trial because her ex-husband did not appear in court.
"The court said I can only appeal after six months," said Jia, noted that her husband beat her so badly she had to go to hospital before the second trial and he again refused to attend court.
"Government officials tend to back off when it comes to family disputes as traditional Chinese conventions say that family issues should be solved within the family," Zhou Xiaozheng, a professor of sociology at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Zhou suggested it is wrong to believe a high divorce rate will damage society. "On the contrary, forcing people who do not love each other in an unhappy marriage, which breeds conflict, violence, and bad influence on their offspring, can only disrupt social stability," he said.(the Global times)