China / Society

Xi'an tepid over limit on divorce sign-ups

By Ma Lie in Xi'an (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-20 04:21

City: Quota on registrations will dissuade couples from bad choices

A measure implemented by a marriage registry in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, that limits the number of divorce registrations to no more than 15 per day, known as the "row number”, has received support and opposition alike from local residents.

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"I strongly support such a measure,” said a 46-year-old resident surnamed Yu, "I divorced my wife 10 years ago on impulse after we had a bitter quarrel, and both of us regretted after we got the divorce certificates. Two years later, we decided to remarry after deep thinking because we still love each other,” Yu said.

If the measure had been in effect when Yu and his wife had gone to get their divorce registration, they might not have divorced, because the measure likely would have given them time to calm down and think, Yu said.

A resident surnamed Zhao said that couples should be cautious when seeking divorce because it is a very serious matter for a family.

However, another resident, surnamed Lu, thought the measure was not needed, saying that couples who wanted to divorce had the right to handle their own affairs.

He Rui, a lawyer with Xi'an Guanzhi Law Firm, said that the measure made it inconvenient for people who wanted to divorce and interfered with their freedom of marriage.

The measure became a hot topic after local media reported that a 30-year-old woman surnamed Wang, a resident of the city's Chang'an district, sought a divorce registration at the marriage registry of Chang'an District Civil Affairs Bureau on Aug 14 and was told that she and her husband would have to take a number for registration.

But Wang and her husband were then told by a staff member in the marriage registry office, "Today's row number for divorce registration has run out, please come another day.”

According to Lin Wenhui, director of the marriage registry, under the measure implemented in March 2012, his registry issues 10 to 15 row numbers per day for couples seeking divorce registration.

"Civil affairs authority will never interfere with or prevent couples from divorcing, and our measure is made with the hope to save some couples who try to divorce in anger and on impulse,” Lin said.

Statistics show that more than 1,900 couples registered for divorce in the district in 2011 and, after the measure was implemented in 2012, the number of divorced couples fell to 1,760; in 2013, the number was 1,720.


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