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Nanjing village sees mass divorce to cash in on compensation

China Plus | Updated: 2017-03-03 11:07

Group marriages are quite common, but have you ever heard of group divorces?

That's exactly what's happened in a village in East China's Jiangsu province, but it's not because the couples don't want to live together anymore.

When it was announced that a new hi-tech zone was to be built in the area, the villagers discovered that their homes were going to be demolished, and that they would all be eligible for compensations.

According to the rules, each couple would be entitled to a 220 square-meter house as relocation compensation. But it turned out that if that couple got divorced, apart from the house, the other partner would also be given a 70 square-meter home and 131,000 yuan (about $19,036 dollars) in financial compensation too, reports the Nanjing Morning Post.

So, the majority of the village's 160 or so couples filed for divorce just to get a better deal, says the local paper.

From newlyweds to seniors, the couples of the Jiangbei village agreed that as long as they could get more compensation, their "fake divorces " would not be in vain.

One man in his 80s said he and his partner have had a good marriage, but still, they got divorced.

Another villager said he wasn't concerned about whether he could successfully remarry his wife in the future.

"Everybody (in the village) is doing this, we will deal with other things later," he told the Nanjing Morning Post.

It's reported that most of the divorced couples still live together.

However, there may be a problem with their plan.

According to housing demolition and relocation regulations, if a couple's divorce registration was administered by a local office of civil affairs, only those who have been divorced for over five years would be eligible to get the extra house and cash payout.

The villagers have been told by a law firm that if spouses obtained a divorce through court proceedings, they could get the extra compensation regardless of how long they have been divorced.

The law firm is reportedly charging up to 15,000 yuan (about $2,180 dollars) to help couples in the village get a divorce in this way.

The Demolition and Relocation Office said the relevant government departments have been told about the situation, and the possible loophole, but are unsure if it will make any difference to the compensation arrangements when the demolition eventually happens.

A lawyer said the "fake divorces" could have potential legal consequences.

"It is not wise to utilize these loopholes for one's own benefit, it's very dangerous," the lawyer said.

Similar cases of divorce 'fabrication' to get more compensation have been seen in other places in Nanjing, such as Jiangxinzhou, Jiangning and Pukou districts.

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