Couples split for cash in China
A RISING number of couples in eastern China’s Nanjing City have deluged local civil affairs office for quick divorces so that they can get more house-demolition compensation.
More than 100 couples, old and young, have registered for divorce at the civil affairs bureau in Jiangning District since Monday, when the government unveiled the latest resettlement plan. Only 10 to 20 couples opted for divorce on average each day last year, said a bureau staffer.
Among the couples, some have been married for nearly half a century. Others are still on their honeymoon.
Under the demolition policy, each household is entitled to a new home of up to 240 square meters and proportional in size to the demolished one, as well as cash payments or fee charges to settle the difference between owners of their houses.
After a divorce, a couple can double the household number and thus get an extra home or at least more compensation.
With the local housing price currently at nearly 10,000 yuan (US$1,486) per square meter, it seemed no surprise that many go for a big windfall by cashing in their marriage.
But the couples might be disappointed.
The government noticed the unusual divorce rush and summoned an emergency meeting on Tuesday to stipulate that “fake divorces” won’t work. News reports said local authorities also pledged to investigate and punish the “divorce swindlers.”