Divorce rates in China have risen significantly because ‘couples are spending too much time together at home’ during self-isolation.
Lu Shijun, manager of a marriage registry in Dazhou, Sichuan Province of south-western China, has witnessed the alarming array of divorce requests first hand.
“Over 300 couples have scheduled appointments to get a divorce since February 24,” Shijun told the Daily Mail.
It is believed that much of the trouble in paradise couples seem to be experiencing has a lot to do with being in close quarters under quarantine on a daily basis. With no work or school, families are having to spend a lot more time with one another than they normally would.
Even the strongest couples will argue. No one wants to be up under the same person all day, every day. Everyone needs their space and being stuck in the house with someone 24/7 for 7 days a week can really take its toll.
Local districts in China are working to slow down the increase in divorce rates by limiting divorce appointments to 10 couples a day after receiving an overwhelming amount of requests.
This issue had become so bad that now Chinese couples seeking a divorce must first complete a month-long “cooling-off” period according to a new law passed on Thursday (June 4) that has stirred a national debate over state interference in private relationships.
In an effort to lower divorce rates, China’s legislature approved a law that requires couples filing for separation to wait 30 days before their request can be processed. The measure, which was previously a recommendation implemented in some provinces, was met with widespread opposition when lawmakers first sought feedback last year.
The cooling-off period only applies in cases where both parties are seeking the divorce. It will not apply if one spouse is seeking divorce following domestic violence.
Others have questioned how judges would determine cases of domestic violence and whether the cooling-off period would leave some partners more vulnerable.
China’s divorce rate has increased steadily since 2003, when marriage laws were liberalised and as more women become financially independent, leading to “reckless divorces” becoming increasingly common and not conducive to family stability, an official told China Women’s Daily.
Last year some 4.15m Chinese couples untied the knot – up from 1.3m in 2003, when couples were first allowed to divorce by mutual consent without going to court.