Nanjing limits divorce applications in reaction to property, school rule evaders

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-7-9 0:43:02

Nanjing government in East China's Jiangsu Province has introduced a policy that restricts the number of divorces that can be registered every day.

The move comes as couples have rushed to file for divorce to circumvent regulations that limit the number of properties couples can buy and forbids children from attending schools outside their own residential district. 

The Nanjing-based newspaper Modern Express reported on Monday that the marriage registration office of the Gulou district in Nanjing first started such a restriction policy in early March, as the number of divorce cases the office was handling far exceeded expectations.

Ma Hong, an official from Nanjing Bureau of Civil Affairs, said some 18,311 couples had filed for divorce in the first six months this year, 1.7 times the number from the same time last year. Ma believed that the soaring number has something to do with the house purchase restrictions introduced this year.

China launched new rules in March this year that forbids families to purchase multiple properties and raised the down payment threshold for a second apartment in an effort to cool down the housing market.

The regulation, which was deemed "the strictest" by some experts, prompted couples all over the country to file for "temporary" divorce in order to acquire more properties.

Aside from the house purchasing restrictions, a new regulation in Nanjing that means children must attend primary schools strictly in accordance with their household registration district triggered a second wave of divorce in June.

A Nanjing resident, surnamed Lin, told the Modern Express that she filed for her second "temporary" divorce on June 14 this year to help her son get into a better primary school.

"The district school where we reside is not very good. So I decided to 'divorce' my husband and move my household registration, together with my son's, back to my parents' area, which has a better school," said Lin.

The number of divorce cases in Nanjing has been increasing for the past five years and marriage, which was supposed to be sacred, has become a new tool to circumvent regulations, said Ma.

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