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Living in Guangdong> Useful Info> Marriage

Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China

2009-November-2       Source: english.gov.cn

Adopted at the Third Session of the Fifth National People's Congress on September 10, 1980, and amended on the basis of the Decision on the Amendment to the Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China, adopted at the 21th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress on April 28, 2001.

Chapter III

Family Relations

Article 13 Husband and wife shall have equal status in the family.

Article 14 Both husband and wife shall have the right to use his or her own surname and given name.

Article 15 Both husband and wife shall have the freedom to engage in production and other work, to study and to participate in social activities; neither party shall restrict or interfere with the other party.

Article 16 Both husband and wife shall have the duty to practise family planning.

Article 17 The following property acquired by the husband and the wife during the period in which they are under contract of marriage shall be in their joint possession:

(1) wages and bonuses;

(2) proceeds of production and business operation;

(3) incomes of intellectual property rights;

(4) property acquired from inheritance or presentation, with the exception of such property as stipulated by the provisions of the third item of Article 18 of this Law; and

(5) other property which should be in their joint possession.

Husband and wife shall enjoy equal rights in the disposition of their jointly possessed property.

Article 18 The property in the following cases shall belong to one party of the couple:

(1) the property that belongs to one party before marriage;

(2) payments for medical expenses received by one party who suffers physical injury, subsidies for living expenses granted to the disabled subsidies, etc.;

(3) the property to be in the possession of one party as determined by will or by an agreement on gift;

(4) articles for daily use specially used by one party; and

(5) other property which should be in the possession of one party.

Article 19 The husband and the wife may conclude an agreement that the property acquired by them during the period in which they are under contract of marriage and the property acquired before marriage shall be in their respective possession separately or jointly or part of the property shall be in their possession separately and the other part jointly. Such an agreement shall be in written form. Where such an agreement is lacking, or the provisions in the agreement are not clear, the provisions of Articles 17 and 18 of this Law shall apply.

The agreement concluded by the husband and the wife with regard to the property acquired during the period in which they are under contract of marriage and the property acquired before marriage shall be binding on both parties.

Where the husband and the wife agree that the property acquired by them during the period in which they are under contract of marriage shall be in their possession separately, debts contracted by the husband or the wife shall be paid off with the property in the possession of the party of the husband or the wife, if the third person knows that there is such an agreement.

Article 20 Husband and wife shall have the duty to maintain each other.

If one party fails to perform this duty, the party in need of maintenance shall have the right to demand maintenance payments from the other party.

Article 21 Parents shall have the duty to bring up and educate their children; children shall have the duty to support and assist their parents.

If parents fail to perform their duty, children who are minors or are not capable of living on their own shall have the right to demand the costs of upbringing from their parents.

If children fail to perform their duty, parents who are unable to work or have difficulty in providing for themselves shall have the right to demand support payments from their children.

Infanticide by drowning, abandonment of infants and all other acts causing serious harm to infants shall be prohibited.

Article 22 Children may adopt either their father's or their mother's surname.

Article 23 Parents shall have the right and duty to protect and educate their children who are minors. If children who are minors cause damage to the State, the collective or individuals, their parents shall have the duty to bear civil liability.

Article 24 Husband and wife shall have the right to inherit each other's property.

Parents and children shall have the right to inherit each other's property.

Article 25 Children born out of wedlock shall enjoy the same rights as children born in wedlock. No one may harm or discriminate against them.

The natural father or mother who does not directly bring up a child born out of wedlock shall bear the child's living and educational expenses until the child can live on his or her own.

Article 26 The State shall protect lawful adoption. The relevant provisions of this Law governing the relationship between parents and children shall apply to the rights and duties in the relationship between foster-parents and foster-children.

The rights and duties in the relationship between a foster-child and his natural parents shall terminate with the establishment of his adoption.

Article 27 Maltreatment and discrimination shall not be allowed between step-parents and step-children.

The relevant provisions of this Law governing the relationship between parents and children shall apply to the rights and duties in the relationship between step-fathers or step-mothers and their step-children who receive care and education from them.

Article 28 Grandparents and maternal grandparents who can afford it shall have the duty to bring up their grandchildren and maternal grandchildren who are minors and whose parents are dead or have no means to bring them up. Grandchildren and maternal grandchildren who can afford it shall have the duty to support their grandparents and maternal grandparents whose children are dead or have no means to support them.

Article 29 Elder brothers and elder sisters who can afford it shall have the duty to maintain their younger brothers and sisters who are minors, if their parents are dead or have no means to bring them up. Younger brothers or sisters who are brought up by their elder brothers or sisters and can afford it shall have the duty to maintain their elder brothers or sisters who lack not only the ability to work but also source of income.

Article 30 Children shall respect their parents' right of marriage, they are not allowed to interfere in the re-marriage of their parents or their life after re-marriage. The duty of the children for supporting their parents shall come not to an end with the change in the marriage contract of their parents.

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Editor: Miranda

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