Chinese court denies woman divorce, asking her to ‘cherish twilight years’
Published: Dec 13, 2020 02:13 PM

divorce Photo: CFP

A woman in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province was denied a divorce by a court despite her claims of being constantly beaten and scolded by her husband over the last 40 years. The court told her she should cherish their twilight years and could still be a happy family with forgiveness and better communication. 

According to the verdict, which was made public on China Judgments Online, after the couple got married in 1980, the woman, surnamed Li, found that her husband was irritable and often scolded and beat her, but put up with it for many years for the sake of protecting her three children. She sued for divorce on the grounds that the couple's relationship had broken down.

The husband, surnamed Yang, did not agree to the divorce, and argued that although he was in the wrong, "it is normal that old couples joke around." He stressed that he had never cheated on her, and hoped his wife would give him another chance.

The county court rejected Li's divorce request, holding that the couple should cherish the hard-earned happiness of their twilight years. "As long as they can understand each other, cherish each other, strengthen communication, and resolve existing conflicts, they can still be a harmonious and happy family."

The verdict drew heated discussion on micro-blogging platform Sina Weibo, with the vast majority of netizens finding it unacceptable and saying that the woman should be able to get a divorce. Many said such a verdict will make young women more cautious about marriage, referring to the "divorce cooling-off period" policy which comes into effect on January 1. 

The new policy requires couples to wait a month after reaching a settlement and then arrive together to collect their divorce certificates. If either side changes their mind during the 30 days or doesn't show up after the cooling-off period, the divorce can be revoked. The policy has drawn a strong backlash online. 

Global Times