Getting married is a big deal in Chinese culture, but what about the opposite? Turns out getting divorced is now also a very popular occurrence, so popular in fact that the system handling divorces in Shanghai is struggling to cope, and is even considering introducing online registration for couples wanting to untie the knot.
But we can’t fault them for trying; part of the reason divorces are taking longer is because authorities recently introduced regulations that require couples to be interviewed before they’re allowed to end their marriage, with the idea being that divorces must be thoughtfully thought out with an attempt to also reduce the rising divorce rate.
According to SCMP, couples are questioned about their reasons for divorce, and what provisions they have made for their property and children. Professional counselors also work aside registration officials to help couples. If a application is deemed to have been made without careful thought, the case can be passed onto social workers or lawyers.
Awww, at least the authorities had their hearts in the right place.
But the workload is still too much, and Sun Xiaohong, the deputy director of the marriage registration center said the authorities were hoping to introduce online registration to streamline the process.
In the past 10 years, China has seen escalating divorce rates. In 2014, 3.6 million couples in China divorced, almost double the number from a decade ago. Yikes. Experts have blamed this trend on social media, as they are wont to do.
In the past, couples were required to get permission from their employers and community committees to divorce, and many just put up with their spouse to avoid public embarrassment.
But hey, nowadays, due to a marriage and divorce law introduced in 2003 couples can go through a simpler process and divorce on the same day at the cost of 10 yuan. Cheap and cheerful, eh?
By Kitty Lai