Under a new law that came into force in China in January, a woman obtained a divorce judgment from her ex-husband to pay her € 6,400 as compensation. She blamed him for not having participated in household chores during their five years of marriage. A judgment that sparked heated debate in a Chinese society that is still very traditional.
It’s a historic first in China, and which sparked lively reactions and debates on social networks. On Monday, February 22, the Fangshan People’s Court in Beijing sentenced a man to pay compensation of 50,000 yuan (nearly € 6,400) to his ex-wife for reasons of … housekeeping.
According to a court report published on February 4, the woman reproached her ex-husband for not “Having participated in family tasks” during their five years of wedding. As reported France Info, this judgment was made possible thanks to the new Civil Code introduced at the beginning of this year in China.
From love at first sight to separation
It all started in 2010, when Mr. Chen and Ms. Wang met. In love with each other, the two lovebirds decide that year to move in together, before getting married five later.
In 2015, a child from their union was born. If until now everything seemed to be going between the two lovers, who conceded having had ” a thunderbolt “ reciprocated in 2010, the birth of their child will unfortunately lead to the end of their romance.
Because according to Madame, quoted by The Guardian , “The child’s education did not really interest sir”. The father went to work without worrying about the education of his child, leaving his wife to take care of everything, argued the future divorcee. “He didn’t care about anything and didn’t participate in any of the tasks” of the marital home, argued the young woman in court. The latter quickly finds herself forced to quit her job to become a stay-at-home mom.
Shopping, cleaning, education of the child, ironing, tidying up, cleaning… The young mother ends up not supporting this situation any more. The relationship deteriorates to the point that the two spouses decide to live separately, the child remaining with the mother.
Some time later, Mr. Chen finally filed for divorce. A proposal accepted by the mother, in exchange for financial compensation.
A “financial compensation”
This Monday, February 22, the judge of the Fangshan People’s Court therefore granted the request of the now ex-wife, summoning Mr. Chen to pay her a monthly pension of € 250, for the custody of the child, to which s ‘adds compensation of 50,000 yuan (nearly € 6,400).
A sum granted for ” housework “ performed by Ms. Wang during her five-year marriage. “Housework constitutes an“ intangible ”property value. For example, they can help improve the living environment or the personal development of the other spouse, without this being reflected in material goods ”, argued in particular the judge, reports the BBC.
Made possible by the entry into force, in January 2021, of a new Chinese Civil Code, this “financial compensation” has sparked heated controversy within the country and on social networks. In total, no less than 400 million comments were recorded on the Weibo social network on Monday, February 22.
Because if, under a new law, “A spouse has the right to claim compensation in the event of divorce if he or she takes on more responsibility for raising children or caring for elderly parents”, many Chinese fear that such compensation could now “Destabilize families”.
“Due to more liberal laws and the growing financial independence of women, divorces have exploded in China over the past two decades,” remember Cnews.
However, according to a recent survey carried out following this judgment, 93% of the 400,000 people questioned considered the amount awarded by the judge to be derisory, “A domestic worker earning well over 50,000 yuan in just six months”.
In this sense, Ms. Wang herself appealed against this decision this week, judging the sum granted too low. According to local media, the latter had indeed requested 160,000 yuan (20,400 €) in compensation from her ex-husband.