In China, wife loses right to property after divorce

Maybe Indian lawmakers need to learn from China rather than aping the West in hastily proposing amendments under Hindu Marriage Act which will give women the power of giving no-fault divorce and take away 50% of husbands’ property(and more) for a marriage which might have lasted only 1 day.

PTI Aug 22, 2011, 06.06am IST

BEIJING: A ruling by China’s supreme court divesting wives of the right of co-ownership of property in the event of divorce has stirred up major controversy , as it changed the country’s time honoured marriage law almost overnight.

The changed marriage law, which took effect on August 13, stipulates that houses bought on mortgage by one party prior to wedlock are to be deemed as the personal property of the registered owner, rather than the joint estate of the couple.

The judicial ruling, intended to resolve real estate disputes in divorce cases, depriving wives’ of co-ownership of a couple’s home will make them feel both insecure and unromantic, women’s rights groups have said.

Passed without any public debate, it challenges the traditional Chinese view that to secure a marriage the groom has to buy an apartment, which has become increasingly expensive , Liu Yan, a lawyer on marital affairs said.

For a Chinese man marriage is impossible without him owning an apartment, the right over which was shared in the event of divorce as per the old rules.

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