Debt rules clarified for divorcees
The Supreme People's Court holds a press conference on Jan 17 to release a judicial interpretation on the country's Marriage Law to clarify how a couple's debt should be divided when they split up.
The Supreme People's Court released a judicial interpretation on the country's Marriage Law on Jan 17 to clarify how a couple's debt should be divided when they split up.
It defines "joint debt" as that accrued to cover family expenses such as food, clothing and medical care.
However, husbands and wives can now argue they should be exempt from repaying loans or other debts they had no knowledge of during the marriage, according to the interpretation.
In addition, a loan taken out for nonfamily expenses will not automatically be taken as joint debt, but if a lender demands a couple should share responsibility they must prove the money was used for family expenses.
The interpretation advises lenders to get both husband and wife to sign loan agreements, which means the repayments will automatically be seen as joint debt.
An interpretation of the law in 2003 stipulated that couples should share all debts from their marriage, even after a divorce.