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A minor fix in marriage law, though loopholes still exist

T
op society and culture news for February 28, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Atheism and religion."
5 months ago
Jiayun Feng

  • Courts to protect spouses from fake, illegal debt / Global Times
    On Tuesday, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) amended a controversial article in a judicial interpretation of the marriage law that specified that after a divorce, both husband and wife are responsible for paying off any debts incurred by either of them while they were married. Divorcees who found themselves financially crippled because of their spousal debt have been calling for a change to the law for some time. According to a statement (in Chinese) released on the website of SPC, under the new article, “people’s courts shall not uphold one’s claim on debt if he or she colludes with either spouse to fake a debt” and “if one side of a couple incurs debts for illegal use, such as gambling or taking drugs, the people’s court shall not uphold the claim as well.” Some online commenters have called the amendment a “positive change,” but many are unsatisfied: “Two fundamental questions remain unanswered. First, who should be responsible for individual debts incurred during a marriage that is not for family use or legal investments? Second, whose burden is it to prove whether or not borrowed money is used for illegal activities?” one person noted (in Chinese).

By Jiayun Feng
Jiayun is a Chinese native and was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allows her to pursue a journalistic career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.
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