China / Society

Increase in ex-lovers' disputes over gifts

By CAO YIN ( Updated: 2014-02-12 18:17

A Beijing court said on Wednesday that disputes between former lovers over luxurious gifts have surged in recent year.

Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court has dealt with 101 such cases in the past three years, and the number of such disputes in 2013 was twice than that in 2011.

People in love like giving presents to each other, especially men to women, according to the court.

With fast economic development, some men give expensive gifts when they fall in love, such as cars, watches or even houses, said Zuo Feng, head of the civil case department of the court.

"The gifts can be very expensive, some worth millions of yuan," Zuo said. "But after the relationship ends, some men ask their ex-girlfriends to return the gifts, and then the disputes happen."

Under Chinese law, a present that is for an engagement or given as a bride price must be returned if the couple breaks up.

"But the challenge is that it's hard to define whether the gift is for marriage, because few people explain the present's meaning or keep evidence," Zuo said.

Hou Chenyang, a judge at the court, said that sometimes a man argued that a gift was given for an engagement, but his ex-girlfriend did not agree.

The judicial officials suggested that people be sensible in love and think twice before giving luxurious gifts, especially cars and real estate.

"In addition, they should keep evidence showing what the luxurious gift is for, or send expensive presents with clear explanations, aiming to avoid unnecessary disputes," Hou said.

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