Chinese couples opt for divorces to claim extra compensation
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Last Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 20:00
  
Beijing: A probe has been ordered after over 100 couples in east China's Jiangsu province, where demolition is going on to build a Sci-tech Zone, filed for divorce to get extra compensation for resettlement.

On Monday, when the resettlement notice was unveiled, a mind-boggling 128 couples filed for divorce in Nanjing's Jiangning District, where the Sci-tech Zone would be located, state-run China Daily reported today.

The divorces picked up following rumours that that divorces after the public notice would not result in more payments.

"Our village is going to be demolished (for a new project); if we get divorced, we will get more compensation for the extra household," 70 year old Chen who filed a divorce papers along with his with his wife at Civil Affairs Bureau in Nanjing's Jiangning District told the official media.

The two were married for married for half a century and parents of two sons and two daughters.

The 68-year-old old Zhang too opted for divorce with his wife to end 30 years of marriage hoping to make a double claim. But unfortunately for him he may not get it as he has not yet registered his marriage officially.

The bizarre event, far from being an isolated case in China, has already caught the attention of local government, which summoned an emergency meeting on Tuesday to stipulate that "shell divorces" won't work.

An open letter has been issued to local residents, in an attempt to dispel the rumors.

News reports said local government also ordered probe to punish the "divorce swindlers."

Resettlement deals would be annulled if there was any fraud, authorities said.

The problem appears to be the chaotic interpretations of the resettlement compensation.

The rules for resettlement compensation vary in different regions in China.

Generally each household is entitled to a new home proportional in size to the demolished one, along with cash payment to settle the difference between owners of large and small house.

A divorced couple are entitled to extra home, or at least more compensation.

Since property prices are already sky-high across the country and real estate is virtually worshiped as a symbol of social stature, it should come as no surprise that residents would get separated just to secure a windfall, the daily reported.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 20:00


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