Tuesday, 11 October 2011

‘Fake’ divorces on the rise in China’s property bubble

Financial issues usually feature centrally in a couple’s decision to divorce.  Falling house prices in the UK have recently had a negative effect on the number of divorcing couples.  The family home is frequently the biggest asset; if it doesn’t sell then finalising a divorce can be difficult, particularly if one party can’t afford to purchase the other’s interest.

Lindsay Kinnealy, Head of Overseas Property Law at Pannone Solicitors, reports in the Overseas Property Professional magazine next month that despite China (in common with many countries) having put in place fiscal austerity measures, somewhat paradoxically there has arisen a “housing bubble” leading to some areas placing a “two properties per family” restriction on house purchases.  In other areas only one property can be owned.

To get round this restriction couples are reportedly faking a divorce so they can register additional properties under their different names.  It is alleged that “fake divorce certificates are being produced … with the encouragement of banks and real estate agents”.  Apparently the phenomenon has even made it into a Chinese soap “reflecting their property bubble fears with characters struggling to raise a mortgage”.

It is difficult to envisage such a shift happening in the UK, with most people simply bedding in during this prolonged economic downturn.  However, it is more difficult to “fake” a marriage and if a divorce is inevitable it is worth seeking divorce advice now in anticipation of the long awaited recovery.

For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog, follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts or call Pannone Solicitors on 0800 840 4929.

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