In an article called “China hits hip pocket in a blitz on divorce” written by Mr Malcolm Moore on 23 August 2011 published in the Telegraph, London the phenomena of increasing cultural materialism, particularly in the context of women’s choice in marriage partners in China is discussed.
The article states that: “The Chinese Government is now trying to stop women marrying for money”.
Moore goes on to state: “In China’s booming cities, prospective husbands are vetted about whether they own a house, and preferably also a car, before a match can be agreed”.
In an attempt to curtail such expectations the Supreme Court in China has ruled that the person who buys the family home, or the parents who advance them the money, will get to keep it in the event of a divorce.
The rationale behind this move is that younger people, and in particular women will be motivated to be more independent and “think of marriage in the right way rather than worshipping money so much” said Hu Jiachu, a lawyer in Hunan province.
The ruling is said to be a relief to young men in China who worry about the difficulty of buying an apartment as the Chinese property bubble explodes with property prices in Shanghai up to $7,934 per square metre when annual salaries are just above $9,521 per year.
“There are more and more girls who want to marry rich men and improve their financial position. It has been a notable increase”, Wang Zhiguo a consultant at Baihe, a Beijing based matchmaking website said. “Most pretty girls now try to trade on their beauty. It is an unhealthy trend and the Government is now trying to restrict it”.
The article reports that statistics show divorces have multiplied at almost the same speed as the economy has grown, by 7% a year for five years.
Under the Family Law Act in Australia there is no provision that the person who brings a property into a relationship will necessarily get to keep it.
However the Courts are obliged to consider the initial contributions which the parties made to the relationship, for example by way of bringing in a property or by way of gifts or other property from a party’s parents. Though couples should be aware there is no one size fits all rule that the party that brings in a property will necessarily get to keep it, rather it is one consideration for the Court.
In Australia some parties may seek to minimise their risk that assets which they bring into the relationship will be lost by way of “prenuptials” or Binding Financial Agreements.
If you have any questions in relation to protecting your assets either before living with someone or marrying them or you would like more advice about how the Court would be likely to divide assets if you were to unfortunately separate from your spouse or partner please do not hesitate to contact us at Armstrong legal for your obligation free initial appointment on 9261 4555.