Cooling-off period for divorce may make it difficult to escape broken marriage
Published: Dec 04, 2020 01:35 AM

 Photo: CFP

Emerging details of a month-long "cooling-off" period for Chinese couples seeking a divorce that is expected to come into effect on January 1, requires couples to wait a month after reaching a settlement and then arrive together to collect their divorce certificates. If one changes his or her idea during the 30 days or doesn't show up after the cooling-off period, the divorce can be revoked. 

The new regulation has sparked heated online discussion, with many netizens saying it is unnecessary and will make it more difficult to get out of a broken marriage and for women to leave an abusive partner. 

The cooling-off period was officially adopted in China's Civil Code at the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), and will take effect on January 1.

The provision was introduced after China recorded soaring divorce rates in recent years. Chinese top legislature said the cooling-off period only applies to those who apply for a civil divorce, while divorces involving domestic violence are usually dealt with through lawsuits. 

Some netizens on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo suggested the purpose of "raising the threshold" for divorce was to get young couples to think twice before rushing into a marriage.