China’s thirty-something’s are the main age group which is causing its divorce rate to soar, according to China.org.cn.
A report by the People’s Court in Fujian Province has revealed that almost 40 percent of the marital dispute cases in that region involve couples born in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that around half of all married couples aged 25-34 in Shaanxi Province are likely to divorce.
Interestingly, the report indicates that in around sixty percent of divorce cases, it is the wife who initiates proceedings, often based on the husband’s infidelity. However, it also points out that in many instances, it is the perceived “interference” by relatives, which is the nail in the coffin for some marriages.
There may be a reason for this. In the 1980s, China introduced its mandatory family planning policy, which meant that families were only permitted to have one child. Could it be that parents and extended family therefore took more interest in that child’s life than they would have done if they’d had siblings? Judge Kuang Jieyu from the Xiamen court certainly seems to think so.
She says that of the divorce cases which appear before her, interference from parents is a common problem, with the child often having been raised as a “little emperor”. This sometimes means that they have an over-reliance on their parents and even their grandparents to provide financial and emotional support, which can conflict with a marriage.
On the other side of the coin however, she also points out that some women of this generation are better educated, more financially independent and therefore less reliant on a husband to provide them with a safe, secure future.
Wu Xiaoying from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences disagrees, however. His view is that the divorce rate is similar among couples in age groups older than this one, and that statistics are simply reflecting the struggles and stress encountered by married couples, often ending in divorce. Also, he points out, many people are waiting until later in life to marry, whilst some simply choose to remain single.