Splitting real estate in divorce in China-How to divide property in a divorce


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Recently I received an email from a foreigner D from Beijing and he was considering a divorce with his Chinese Wife.
D married his Chinese spouse (Changchun) on 14-06-2007 and had been breadwinner from the moment he got married. Their real estate registered on his Chinese spouse, which she bought in 2005 (before marriage) D had financed the decoration and furnishing of the real estate also had paid the mortgage loan from the moment they moved in and his wife never had a job or any income to support the family. They got married in  Tianjin 

A Little Background on splitting real estate in China


Under this new interpretation, upon divorce, if the couple cannot reach an agreement on the disposition of the real property, the court will rule that the house and the remaining mortgage loan will respectively be the personal property and debt of the spouse in whose name the house is registered, and the portion of mortgage loan jointly paid up by both and the commensurate portion of increased value of the real property shall be regarded as community property and be split between the spouse.  I will share a couple of common questions you may also want to ask:

  • Based on above Judicial Interpretation III on Marriage Law, Can The co-owner of real property fruit  real estate value increase from marriage during time  (You can share the added value and get compensation in terms of  mortgage,decoration,and furnishing. )
  • Does the Chinese spouse have the legal authority forcing you to leave your real property as long as you are married? ( If you are still in marriage, Police won’t force you to leave your house. )
  • In case the Chinese spouse reject to compensate me properly at divorce, do you need to start court proceedings?( That will leave you no choice but going trial.)
  • In case You need to start divorce court proceedings is it necessary to hire a Chinese divorce attorney? If you have a good knowledge of Chinese, you can go to trial yourself. If you can’t, You will be provided with an interpreter and fees are on you.  Better hire an attorney to help you.
  • In case  divorce has to go trough court proceedings what change do you have being properly compensated? Find an dedicated attorney to help you and collect as much as possible to back you in court trial.  Bank transaction, purchasing contract,any proof to show your wife has no income and no money
  • How much time can take the divorce court proceedings in a worst case scenario?  Normally the court will rule in 6 months.
  • Does divorce court proceedings need to take place in Beijing or Tianjin? If you and your wife are both in beijing, beijing court will hear the case and no need to go to Tianjin.
  • What is your fee of a Chinese divorce attorney?   Need more detailed information. Normally, you will have to pay for attorney fees by hours or can propose a fixed plan to your lawyer. 

Do you need prenup before getting married? If you don’t any serious property, prenup isn’t necessary. If you have real estate in China and also you are thinking about getting married to a Chinese Woman, a prenup will save you from a divorce when splliting your real esate.


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