Couple refused divorce after passing relationship test

Divorce|September 25th 2017

A couple in south-west China have been denied a divorce because they scored too highly on a test about how well they knew each other.

The local court in the Sichuan province has recently introduced this test as a requirement for couples who want to bring their marriage to an end. It consists of several fill-in-the-blank questions about various aspects of a marriage such as anniversaries or their spouse’s favourite food. People who sit this test also have to answer questions on the happiest moments of their relationship and why they want a divorce in the first place.

Each test has a maximum score of 100 points and a marriage is considered “at risk” by the court if couples score fewer than 60 points. The results of these tests are “useful as a fairer metric, as the evidence presented by the plaintiff can sometimes be biased” claimed Wang Shiyu, a judge who introduced them.

The first couple to be made to take the test did so late last week. The wife sought a divorce because she claimed her husband had a gambling problem and did not trust her enough. However the husband wanted a second chance at making the marriage work.

The wife’s application was refused after she scored 86 out of 100 and her husband scored 80 on the new test. Local newspaper the Chengdu Business Daily reports that, having seen the results of the test, she accepted the judge’s ruling and neither her nor her husband are reportedly planning to appeal against it.

China’s divorce rate has been on the rise for the last 14 years. In the first six months of this year, the country saw 1.85 million divorces. This outpaced the first half of 2016 by 11 per cent.

Photo by Tim Taylor via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Author: Stowe Family Law


  1. Nemo Momenti says:

    Good to see China making some efforts at keeping families together. Little enough of that in this country, and plenty of money to be made by divorce lawyers by opposing it, too!

  2. D says:

    Mediation, having a period to try and sort things out, for examples are good, but preventing two people who want to split up from splitting up, is particularly stupid. That’s not what the state is for. Although considering marriage-bribe tax allowances maybe it is.

  3. Andrew says:

    Married people who want a divorce often know far too much about each other and that’s their problem.

    I hesitate to criticise; it’s another country. But I wouldn’t want it here.

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