Easy married, hard divorced in China (international marriage with Chinese women)
Dec 16, 2013

Easy married, hard divorced in China (international marriage with Chinese women)

The world is flat, as depicted by the book so entitled. Cross-border marriages mushroom everywhere in the globe, including China, esp in big metropolis cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

There are many reasons why a foreigner will get married to a Chinese spouse (most often Chinese wives), and sometimes, they get married quickly or “flash marriage”. It is easy to get married in China. However, when it comes to divorce in China, foreigner spouse may find their better half difficult and unreasonable, but they will also find Chinese courts difficult and unreasonable when they end up in court room for a divorce.

Here is an example:  In 2007, an American guy met a Shanghai girl in a party and hit it off with her instantly (vice versus) and they started to live together next day. After a three-month glued life, they decided that they cannot part with each other. Marriage was the right choice for both. They registered their marriage in China. Immediately after marriage, the guy had to travel  between USA and China for work and unfortunately he didn’t work in the city where his wife lived. They still managed to live together sometimes when the guy was in China, stealing some time out of his busy schedule for his wife. Life started to lose luster. The American guy found himself tired of this not normal marriage life. What’s more, he now had an affair with his ex girlfriend in USA. In 2009, he opted to tell his wife that they cannot live this way and he wanted a divorce.  After multiple requests for divorce in 2009, the wife realized that she cannot keep him, and counter claimed an amount of compensation for the years she had spent for him. She gave him a figure of RMB half a million, which was beyond his means as he had not recovered from American financial crisis then.  Since then, they never slept together and lived separate life apart. They did meet to discuss their problem but their talk spun around how much money the guy should pay to his wife.

Then early 2013, the man didn’t want to wait indefinitely. He hired a  Shanghai lawyer to sue to divorce, believing his situation would well warrant a divorce under Chinese Marriage Law which prescribes that divorce may be granted if the two parties have lived apart for consecutive two years due to incompatibility. He had lived separately from his wife for more than three years, and they just needed to figure out an amount of compensation.

At the court hearing, the facts described above are proved and admitted by both parties. But when the judge asked the woman whether she would divorce her husband. She made a surprise show by saying she still loved him and she didn’t want to divorce, while previously admitting that she had requested half a million for divorce. The tactic was that she wanted to delay divorce against the man’s will.

With the facts said above, what would be the likely decision of a western court?

Here in Shanghai, the judge later delivered a judgment of denying the man’s claim to divorce his wife saying that their relationship was affected by the husband’s work, and was salvable as their marriage was based on love initially and if both parties can talk and communicate with each other, they will work out their problem. Bla.. bla…  nonsense.


Chinese courts as part of Chinese society somehow uphold traditional Chinese values and cultures such as family value. They tend to give an ailing marriage a chance for them to try to solve their problems and return to normal marriage life. So you will find that in many cases (if not majority) courts will not grant divorce in the first lawsuit, and will be more willing to give OK to the couple when they sue again after six months (six months is the minimum waiting period for a couple to sue to divorce again).


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  3. James says:

    Hello, I married a Chinese woman in Australia and we have a 6 months old baby now. We’ve been living in Australia all the time, for the past two years, as a couple and later as a married couple because she got pregnant. We always had our little problems to solve, but she tends to carry things over the cliff and talk about divorce ! She has been waiting for a chance to go to China to see her parents, although I prefer that they come and visit us here in Australia. I’m worried that she might be thinking of taking my son to China and demanding divorce from there. In case this happens, what would happen concerning the custody of my son. We don’t have assets yet in Australia, we’re newly married…. please advise, what should I do to prevent this from happening, and if it does, what to do later…

    1. Jason Tian says:

      James, so far as I know once she takes your child into China, you will have the risk of never getting your child back, as China doesn’t have any treaty with Australia on child abduction. You should discuss with your Australian lawyer on preventing her from taking your son cross Australia border without your consent. So much homework there for you to do.

    2. susan wiate says:

      Hi James,

      I am sorry to hear about your plight. I lived in China for many years and I will tell you this now..under no circumstances allow her to take your son out of Australian. Ensure your son does not have a passport and secondly, contact immigration fo your own safe keeping.2. If she is talking about divorcé then she is already planning it (I am a woman so know how they think). 3. Ensure everything is in your name. 4. 98% marry not for love but a passport and better life. 5. If she is talkng to finish the marriage, wanting to go back to China you may never see your boy again only when she wants money. When you deal with a fox one must become the wolf. Good luck.

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  6. von says:

    Hi, Ive been living and working in China for 10 years now and got married to a Chinese woman, in China, 7 and a half years ago. We have 2 kids together and every month I give my wife money to invest, pay rent and daily life. My wife also works so my in-laws take care of the kids during the day. due to cultural differences (raising kids with 4 people) my wife and I are starting to hate each. I want to divorce so as to try keep the remaining friendship alive for my sons, my wife agrees with that and also agrees that the kids stay with her but I have constant visiting rights. Unfortunately, She disagrees about what to do with the finances. I said I’d give her x amount every month and we could split the savings, she disagrees with this as her parents had to move to the city to help raise our kids.if we cannot come to an agreement what are the chances for my finances?

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Von, please further discuss the details vie emails. When it comes to division of marital properties, if there is no agreement on that, court will have to rule in accordance with the laws. Please let me know what assets are involved and what is the gap between your expetaction and that of your wife.

  7. Anna says:

    Hi Jason, my husband is chinese(shenzhen citizen), but we were married in Hongkong. is it possible to get a divorce in China?


    1. Jason Tian says:

      Anna, yes you can through court proceeding.

  8. Felix says:

    Hello Jason. I am going through some challenges with my girlfriend. There are a lot happening around the world. Love also make the world seems to be more crazy . I’m from Africa. I had a relationship with a Chinese lady. We truly love each other. We’re looking forward to get married to spend the rest of our life together. But something happened. We have been dating over 18 months now. She want us to settle in China. I decided to get a Chinese visa. But my visa got delayed for over a year . I used wrong agency at first. Wasted my time, money and energy. Giving me excuses to be patient. I reapply with another agency. but the embassy had some delays. They where backlogged. I always tried to explain to my girlfriend. Telling her not to worry. The agency will give me a date. I will tell my girlfriend. But they will disappoint. My girlfriend concluded I’m lying to her . her friends started saying negative things about me that I don’t love her. They turn her mind against me. But my heart is pure . I did everything to make her understand. But she doesn’t want to listen. But she truly love me. She was frustrated just like me. Her friend introduced her to another man in Siri links.. She told the man. She’s in love with me. She can’t love another. She can only accept his friendship. If she will accept his love. She need time. The man was so desperate of her. The man rushed to China. Because his country has 30 days free visa to China. He pretend to commit suicide for her if she doesn’t accept him. The man confiscated all her phones and deactivated our contacts. She was helpless. The man say a lot of negative things about me. Just to ruin our relationship. The pressure was too much on my girlfriend. Sometimes she will hide to contact me . telling me she love me, but she doesn’t know if I’m coming to her. That she can’t wait anymore. She doesn’t want to believe me. The man visa expired and returned back to his country and come back to him against. He did everything to convinced her. My girlfriend believed him. She was forced to get him a marriage certificate just to secure a resident permit for his stay. After all these challenges. My visa was approved. She regretted her mistakes. She chase this man out of his house. Because she doesn’t love him. That he ruined her life . the problem is. Can she get a divorce. So I can be with him

    1. Jason Tian says:

      yes, in China, she can sue for a divorce.

      1. Felix says:

        Thank you Sir . I sincerely appreciate your attention. But how urgent to get a divorce?. Because we’re finding it complicated to my permit with her residence address and documents. I will be glad if you could give me some clue to handle this. Because she’s confused. Blaming herself for her actions

        1. Jason Tian says:

          go and find a local lawyer where she is going to divorce. i don’t think i can make it clear to you here.

          1. Felix says:

            Alright thanks

  9. Eugene says:

    Hi Jason above of all I’m Malaysians who meet a lady (39)who’s is older than me at Singapore ..we intend to get married so wat is the cost of the fee amount to registered meanwhile my parents doesn’t accept at all?Also wat the different between government and private in handling marriage registration issue?If one day get divorce we as a man it is have to pay so much if didn’t own any property n no kids yet?

  10. mike says:

    HELLO,what to do if my gf( foriegn) runs away with our son ? Without informing me or letting me know where she is or my son .
    Please email me @ [email protected]

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Mike, it is a difficult situation if you don’t even know where she is. You may have to wait till she shows up and sue her for divorce or for violating your right to parent your son.

  11. MARINA says:

    Good day, Jason!
    I have a question , hope you can help me .
    I’ve already got my divorce certificate and also made the notarial certificate in local notary office.
    Now I should put stamp in the ministry of foreign affairs, but I can’t understand how to make it. I’m living in Guangzhou, my divorce was made in Shaanxi province (where we were married). I should go by myself to Beijing or I can make it in Shaanxi province (in authorized Foreign Affairs Offices of local governments) and Thn legalized by our embassy or consulate .
    This step I can’t understand how to do? Maybe have some companies who can make it for me , like agents. Or if I need to go by myself … need to make application or how it all works?
    Can you give me an advice, please,
    I will very appreciate it.
    Thanks a lot in advance.
    Waiting for your reply,
    Best regards .

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Marina, i guess you are a foreigner divorcing your Chinese spouse in China. Indeed, i don’t handle domestic legalization often. A client of mine has just completed notarisation and legalization of his divorce certificate (obtained from local civil affair department in Jiangsu Province), and i believe this can be done. You may need to further research on the procedures. I will try to get some help from that client and come back to you via email.

      1. MARINA says:

        Hi Jason,
        Yes, im a foreigner and my ex-husband is a Chinese, from Shaanxi province . We were married in China, so divorce also im making here. As i said before i already got my divorce certificate and 公证书from 陕西公证处.
        So now my problem is how to get 中华人民共和国外交部’s stamp on that 公证书。
        If you get any information, please, let me know.
        Thank you.

        1. Jason Tian says:

          I asked my other client and he told me that you need to visit an office at the foreign affair office in Shaanxi to get that stamp. You will have to go there yourself or get someone to go there on your behalf.

  12. Mengdie Li says:

    My husband and I are Chinese, we lived in UK while I studied, then moved to Canada in 2015. We have a daughter that was born in Canada and she is now almost 3. My husband and I barely talk, he is often back in China working. His family has money, and connections. He has asked my permission to take my daughter back to China for 2 months. Recently he also sold a large portion of our investments and is sending it back to China as this had been a gift from his parents and they apparently wanted it back.
    I am terrified to let my daughter go back to China. If he decides to keep her, will I be able to get her back?
    If I refuse to let him take her out of the country and we divorce, can I win a custody battle if his family has money, and I have a 40k annual income?
    My daughter speaks mandarin, and has been learning English through daycare.
    Any comment or advice would be greatly appreciated. I can barely sleep at night and feel my world is about to crumble.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      hi Mengdie, there is no other way out of the difficult time than being strong yourself. You can always restart your life if you think you won’t work out the problem with your husband now.

      Since you are now in Canada, your husband has no way to take back the daughter from you without your consent.

      As you have been married for some years, there must be properties accumulating during your marriage which may be subject to splitting with you.

      I am more concerned with jurisdiction issue over your divorce case and the applicable laws. If the main assets (those accumulating during your marriage) are in China, then your best bet may be to sue in China.

      I believe it is better we communicate through emails for purpose of your privacy and efficiency.

  13. Unknown says:

    My husband and I have met through family friend. We are a young couple. I am a US citizen and he is a Chinese citizen. We met each other and like each other very much. We decided to get marry with a short time. I travel back to the States to start to work on documents. I travel back to China and we registered our marriage. A year later, after knowing the date to his immigration interview, he decided to tell me that he doesn’t want to move to the US and for us to go our separate ways. I visited him four times within that one year. He did not see all the efforts I put in. Now he wants to divorce me because he doesn’t want to move to the U.S. I love him and still want to keep this marriage. I told him that I will move to China to be with him, but he still insisted for us to go this way since I am not a fit for Chinese culture. He requested that I come and sign the papers for him. I do not agree to leave him. I wasted my time, love, trust and money. I requested him to pay it back to me on good terms but he doesn’t not have the money and just told me to use his life to pay. I do not want to go that extreme because I love him a lot. But he is just using that against me. I also love his family a lot . So what should I do? I wasted over $20000 traveling back and forth between the States and China. I just want him to take me back to my parents and pay back what I have wasted on him. Our family is very traditional.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Sorry to hear that. What does he do in China? Where does he live? Legally it is hard to claim the travel costs for visiting him back and forth, but you are entitled to claim whatever he has earned during your marriage time. If there is not much to claim in that regard, please negotiate an agreement on the compensation.

  14. Andrew Martin says:

    Hello Jason,
    I am a UK citizen married to a Shanghai lady and currently living in the UK, we also have a home in Shanghai in her name. We have separated and my wife has filed for a divorce in the UK, although we were married in China. There is money invested in China bank under my wife’s name which I supplied and which I can prove, and also I have the investment details. My question is this, if the `UK court rule that she must return for example 50% of the of this China investment, can this ruling be enforced through the China courts? If I raise an action in China to obtain this money and I am successful , what would happen if she has moved it to different accounts. Can she be forced to repay?. My fear for her moving and trying to hide the money is valid as we have only small savings in the UK and do not own any property in the UK

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Andrew, sorry the UK judgment cannot be enforced. if you have substantial assets here in Shanghai, then sue her here. You can request the court to freeze her account upon filing the case with court. Pls send me email with details on when got married, and what assets are acquired after marriage and what are the pre-marriage assets, and whether the property has a bank loan on it and how much left, and why you want to divorce her (or vice versus).

    2. Andrew Martin says:

      Hello Jason,
      Many thanks for the quick and informed response to my situation, I will send the detailed email as requested. Can the court request in China be made before the divorce is finalised in the UK?

      1. Jason Tian says:

        that will depend on your actions. it could be very fast if you can come over to China. otherwise, if you are not coming, you will have to issue power of attorney to me to file the case. The POA shall be notarized and legalized which will take some 2-3 weeks,I guess.

  15. Aimee says:

    Hi Jason,

    A US man married a Chinese woman in China, then moved immediately (within a few weeks) back to the US and has lived there for 3 years. Prior to his moving and then getting married, she became pregnant. He also loves prior to the child being born. The man would like to pursue a divorce and has wanted to do so for those 3 years. However, the Chinese woman is not cooperative with a divorce and wants him to come back to China to continue a life together.

    Without going back to China, how can he pursue a divorce and give her full custody of the child?

    Additionally, if the Chinese marriage was not registered in the US, can he legally remarry in the US if a divorce is not granted or possible?

    Any input you have on this would be so helpful, thank you.


    1. Aimee says:

      I just need to make a correction:

      I meant to say “He also moved* prior to the child being born.”


    2. Jason Tian says:

      Alimee, he can divorce her without coming to China so long as he hires an attorney representing him during the court proceeding. I believe the child is being raised by the wife in China. The divorce proceeding may take some time and may take two attempts to finally get divorced.

    3. Qui says:

      I am in a similar situation and was wondering since my wife doesn’t want to come to America I won’t let my son come over. Do I still have to file for a divorce while I’m in the states, If I ever wanted to get remarried?

  16. Ezra Sterback says:

    Hello Jason.
    Here’s my situation:
    My wife and I are both foreigners(wife:Italian, me:Canadian).
    We got married over 3 years ago in Beijing but have been living appart since July 2016. We have a child whom is 3 now. Right after the marriage, we had it confirmed at the Italian Embassy.
    We now both agree to this divorce. And wish to do things fair and without a fight. How should we proceed. We are both in Beijing at the moment and willing to get started with the procedures ASAP.
    Looking for some advice.
    Kind regards,

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Ezra, so you have both lived in Beijing for more than one year in the current residence, right? Both agree to divorce but can you agree on the splitting of properties and child custody? If yes, we can help you with regard to the divorce in Beijing.

  17. Johhny Wishbone says:

    Hello Jason, Thank you for the great blog and I see you’re very diligent in replying comments, I hope I’m lucky enough to get a reply also! 🙂

    I’m a foreign Guy out of Australia and got married to a Chengdu girl about 3 years ago. I’ve been pursuing her with passion for almost 7 years before that with mixed success. I was living in Shanghai but she said I should work in Australia it would be better for our future. Now her business is taking off in Shanghai, and I’ve been working in Australia 5 years, and after being distant this year she finally came out and said she wants me to “sign the paper”. because she decided she can never live in Australia, and will not take my offers or even talk about me living in Shanghai again.. I’ve been seeing her 3/4 times a year or so, here, there and common trips. Last time in July. Cannot imagine letting her go, although most people would say I’m crazy. I’m not in the mood to date or marry another girl in years to come, I wonder if I have any obligation to do her bidding.. As it seems to me after all the ups and downs over the years she finally has not just me to answer to, but also the Chinese justice system. (Justice?) I’m pretty sure she has been unfaithful this year, though she denies it and so far I have no proof.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Johhny, I am very sorry for your situation. It is never easy when one feels betrayed. I would rather reply in a private email instead of talking too much here. After all, it is a private matter involving a party in Shanghai.

  18. Peter says:

    Hi Jason,
    I am a Canadian citizen, my wife is Chinese. We married in china in 2007. We were married for 16 years, live in Canada and have a 9 year old son. We have been in the middle of a 4 year custody battle for our Canadian born son. We share custody. She now wants to take our son to China to see her family. I am afraid she will not return him because she has family in the government, and therefore has easy access to the ‘system’ and has threatened to take him to China so that I would never see him again. If she does go and does not return him will the Chinese government help me in returning my son?

    1. Jason Tian says:

      hi Peter, i cannot say for sure at the moment. so you are in battle for child custody but you are not divorced right? If she brings the boy to China and doesn’t return to Canada, then it will be a difficult fight for you to get custody of your son under China system. I am not saying you will definitely lose it. The court will have to consider overall conditions to decide the best for the child. If he has gone to school in Canada for years and may not speak good Chinese and he has a Canadian passport, then it may be the case that you can take him back to Canada. If you think she has good connection with local system, then i cannot tell what will happen. but where will she stay in China? You may have to consider suing her first in order to have the custody decided before she can take the boy away from you. by the way, this is a typical behavior of a Chinese wife in a divorce fight. They generally abduct the Child because they hate you.

      1. Peter says:

        Jason, thank you for the response. The divorce is in the works (division of family assets) but not yet complete, a child custody (joint/shared) order is already in place and has gone through the court system. Her parents worked in the military and China customs for 30 years so she is well connected if she wants to be. She does not have any family in Canada. Our son was born and has been fully raised in Canada, although he has visited China with my ex-wife once when we were still together. When she goes to China, her intent is to stay with her mother who lives within the China Customs compound.
        And yes she has been out of character in the past 5 years since our separation than she was when we were married. She has become bitter, hateful and has taken my son and moved far from me. I do not know why she is so angry with me when it was her that had the affair. When I didn’t want her back she kept me from my son and until this day is beyond difficult. She has threatened me from the beginning that she would take him to China and I would never see him again. This is my greatest fear.

        1. Jason Tian says:

          I guess you should exhaust what you can do under Canadian laws to ensure she cannot get the son away from you, like an injunction. Once she sneaks into China territories, you will basically have difficulty in taking the boy back to Canada, if not impossible.

        2. J says:

          I read elsewhere that any foreign child custody claims will not be enforced nor recognized in China.

          Please read it here: https://www.echinacities.com/expat-corner/Unhappy-Endings-How-to-Get-a-Divorce-in-China

          Try to get it done in China, not Canada.

          1. Jason Tian says:

            I don’t think i have indicated in my post that foreign judgement over child custody will be recognized in China. Currently, except for family court decisions of Hong Kong courts (a recent development in this area regarding bilateral recogniztion of family court judgments), China courts won’t recognize the contents of foreign court judgments except for the divorce itself. In other words, China courts may endorse the divorce of the couple but will disregard any other parts of the judgments concerning property splitting and child custody.

  19. James says:

    Hello Jason,
    I don’t love my xhinwaw wife anymore, and she also don’t love me.
    i didn’t declare the marriage in my country, only in China. The marriage is not valid in my country only in china, My chinese wife is a very crazy person and if she see me she can kill me, i don’t want lose my life. So if i go back to my country, i will be automatically divorced after two years in China right?
    After two years i can come back to china and marry again right?


    1. Jason Tian says:

      no, if you go back to your country for two years without living together with her, it just enables you to divorce her without much dispute at court, and it doesn’t mean your marriage is legally terminated. you will have to come to China to divorce her.

      1. Peter says:

        Thank you for the information. One last question, if our son was born in Canada and she was born in China would it be difficult for her to arrange a chinese passport for our son once he is in China or even while he is in Canada? What can I do to find out if a chinese passport has been issued for our son. Is that something you can help me with? I ask this because again through family she is connected to government connections and I am not sure to what lengths she will go. Note that our son currently does not have a valid Canadian passport.

        1. Jason Tian says:

          I will need to research on the nationality question. However if your son does not even have a passport in Canada, she cannot take him away from you. Remember even she manages to get a Chinese passport for the boy while he is in Canada, she cannot use it to take the boy out unless your Canadian border or customs staff are all stupid.

          1. Peter says:

            For sure the problem is she asking to replace the Canadian passport, she needs my permission to do so which for the time being is going to happen. I know that travel consent letters are needed for minors to travel with one parent but I have heard more than one story where the letters are not always checked when exiting the country or checked when arriving at another destination.
            Please look into if she is able to arrange a Chinese passport for him without my knowledge or consent if I am not prepared to agree to a canadian passport at this time. Please email me and we can discuss from there.

  20. Manny says:

    Hi Jason,
    I am a New Zealand Citizen and got married to my Chinese wife in Chengdu, China in 2014. Things are not working out for us and we both want a divorce. For sake of my knowledge what is the divorce procedure for us in Chengdu, China. how long does it take to get a divorce? Do I need a lawyer? where can I find a lawyer for divorce in Chengdu?
    Thanks and Regards

    1. Jason Tian says:

      if both parties agree on the divorce, then it will take just a few hours for you to register your divorce with the authority where you registered your marriage. But you need to come over in person and sign the divorce agreement there. If you don’t want to come to China, it can be done through court which may take anything from three months to six months. You need a lawyer in court representing you. Any quarrel on asset splitting or child custody?

  21. Tomas B. says:

    Hi there, my Chinese girlfriend is facing divorce with the foreign guy at Harbin. After they sign papers my girl is wondering to cut off his ex husband family visa, couz the guy is just a user, use people as a tools without any dignity… how does this guy visa status will change and can my girlfriend push towards his visa anull? Thank you

    1. Jason Tian says:

      I don’t deal with visa very much. but i believe your girlfriend can report the case to local police for cancel that guy’s visa.

      1. Tomas B. says:

        Thank you for your answer

  22. Luis says:

    Hi Jason,
    My wife and I came to China 3 months ago, with our three daughters. We both got jobs teaching in an International school with a three years contract. 2 weeks ago my wife said she wanted to end our marriage, no reason apart that she didnt love me any more. So I said that I would rather we go back and live in Australia, close to our friends and family. But she said she wont take the girls back, she is happy here and wants to stay. We are all Australian. I dont know what to do, she says that the courts will rule in her favor to stay in China because we have a work contract. Is there any chance I will be able to go back to Australia with my children if she does not want to come?

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Luis, sorry to hear this. First of all, if she wants to stay in China, you have no way to take her back. But for the children, the best way to keep them with you is to take them back to Australia, and then sue her either in Australia or in China. That said, I hope you can work out the problem with your wife for sake of the three children. Give her some time to calm down and she may wake up to her senses later on.

  23. David says:

    Dear Mr. Tian, I am a foreigner contemplating to marry a Chinese wife. I hope all goes well. But as regards eventual divorce, can you please shed some light on the following:

    1. What is the difference if the marriage was in China, vs. if he marriage was under the laws of a foreign country (and it is a foreign marriage certificate?

    2. Are pre-nuptial agreements or marriage contracts valid in China? What about foreign agreements?



    1. Jason Tian says:

      1. the differences will depend on the local laws of the foreign country and China. I cannot tell much about differences when I know only about Chinese marriage laws. As a matter of law, unless otherwise stipulated in a pre-nuptial agreement, properties acquired after marriage are deemed as community properties that will be roughly equally divided upon divorce; there is no alimony to be paid to the other upon divorce. These are the two major points that may be of your interests.
      2. Pre-nuptial agreement is valid in China so long as it is entered into out of each party’s own volition. A pre-nuptial agreement concluded outside of China can also be recognized in China to the extent that it is not against Chinese public policies.

  24. Tilly says:

    Hi, l am not sure where to go from here, l need direction please.
    My husband left me two years ago(2015)., last year l discovered my husband married a Chinese lady in China by deception, which means that he has committed bigamy as we were never officially divorced.
    First of all, l would like to sue him for committed bigamy, than l would like to divorce him.
    Please tell me how do l go about that and would it be costly to me to sue him?
    Thanks. Tilly Law

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Tilly, how do you know he has married the Chinese lady? They registered their marriage in China? Besides suing his bigamy, you should check out your husband has transferred money to buy big asset for the Chinese woman, for example, a property in China. If yes, you should also go after the property provided that back in your home country or state, the community property rule is the default rule regarding marital properties acquired after marriage.

    2. Jason Tian says:

      So far as I understand, such dual marriage is bigamy under Chinese laws, but the police in China are not really interested in such cases. So we need to talk to local police and persuade them to entertain the case. Can you tell me where your husband and his Chinese wife live in China?

      1. Tilly says:

        Hi Jason, thank you for your reply, the reason l knew he got married to another lady in China was that l still had his password to access the internet.

        Right now l do not have his home address but l knew where he is currently working.

        As for his financial means, l don’t think my husband had any asset anywhere so l won’t pursue that.

        I just want justice and a divorce.

      2. Tilly says:

        *l am very certain that his new ‘wife’ doesn’t know his marriage to me and also his shady past.

        They are currently residing in Qingdao, Shangdong.

        1. Jason Tian says:

          Tilly, let us move out talk to emails.

  25. Elise says:

    Hi Jason,

    I have a Belgian friend who married a Chinese lady in China. My friend is a Project Manager and travels a lot for his work. The wife used to be with him wherever he goes and stayed with him until she decided to stay in AU where my friend bought her a business property. (He also bought one for her in China, both are in wife’s name but the money is solely from my friend) after years of marriage, turned out that the Chinese wife lied to my friend about her age, having a daughter from (maybe) previous marriage that my friend was not aware of, and selling the properties he bought for her without his knowledge. He is trying to contact her now and she doesn’t answer AT ALL. Now he wants a divorce but kind of lost because he doesn’t know where to start as the wife is not communicating with him and my friend doesn’t even know where the chinese wife is. If she is in AU, China or Belgium (I believe she also got a Belgian residency). It’s already more than 2 years that they don’t live together nor seen each other nor the wife contacted my friend. Nothing at all. He knew that she is still out there because he has spoken to the wife’s family although of course the family is on the wife’s side and doesn’t want to say where she is or they will only say they don’t know. They are not cooperating. Question is, how can my friend start with the divorce process if this is the case? What’s the best thing to do? Would highly appreciate all the help and advice you could extend to us.

    Thank you so much.

    Kind regards,

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Elise, let us further talk about this via email. Thank.s.

  26. Anna says:

    Hi Jason,
    My husband wants to divorce me. We are both foreigners living in separate cities in China. We have been married for many years. He met a Chinese woman and he wants to be with her. I assume they want to get married. We had a great marriage, but we had to deal with many traumas. When we get divorced I would like to end it in a friendly way. Before we left our country, he got sequestrated. I was the only breadwinner for many years as he was always busy with projects that didn’t take off. I do believe that it is only a matter of time before he will be very successful. He promised that he will take care of me once he becomes successful and to give me what I deserve. I believe him but is worried that the other woman might not feel the same. Do I have any leg to stand on? He decided to sell all our belongings before we left our country. Bottom line is: He doesn’t own anything. He is now earning a good salary and will be successful soon. Am I naive? I am sure I am. I gave him all the support that I was capable of giving. Would I be allowed to sue her for “stealing” my husband, if things do go bad? This is the last thing I would do, but I would like to know what the law in China is on this matter? Can you please give me some advice?

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Anna, not sure about whether you should sue in China at all. If he has nothing or not much to divide, then you just talk with him and see what he can give to amicably end the marriage. Well, there is no any legal ground to sue the woman for stealing your husband, sorry. If you find that your husband has bought her something value without your knowledge, you can however sue to recover that property.

      1. foradv says:

        Hi Jason,

        I arrived to find your blog as I am in similar situation Anna was. Mu husband and I live overseas and he met this woman in China and he is cheating on m e. When i file a divorce, I want to sue her via Chinese lawyer for my damage and loss but you are saying there is no way to sue her?

        1. Jason Tian says:

          hi Foradv, sorry for the situation in China where you may not be able to sue the other woman that has made your marriage fail. So far, it is most likely that you cannot even file the case with a court in China. However please note that if you know there is any property of value your husband bought for that woman (distress), you have the right to sue to take it back, and that is something you will have a good chance to win.

  27. John says:

    Dear Jason,
    I am trying to get married to a woman from China. She is a widow with young children and I am a widower also with young children. I am American. She is Chinese. Three years ago she became involved with a man who talked her into marrying him, which she did. Soon after the marriage he tried to get her to do things with outer men. She refused and told him she wanted a divorce. He told her he would not until she paid him back the $30K he told her he spent on her over those years he was involved with her. She has filed for divorce and tried to have him sign the papers using a lawyer in Hawaii where he now lives. He refused. The Chinese courts tell her that the papers now must go through the Chinese consulate for Hawaii which is based in LA in order to process the divorce. That will take a very long time. Would it be possible to ask the courts to use an American lawyer to serve and officiate the papers in the USA for these Chinese courts instead of this slow consulate process?

    1. Jason Tian says:

      John, you are asking about service of process by Chinese courts in a case involving an alien party. This is something quite clearly prescribed in China Civil Procedures Law. Does USA allow service of process by way of mail? if yes, this is properly the fastest way to service. Otherwise, Chinese courts will go for diplomatic channels that will take months. I am not aware of any other faster ways. Why not just sue the guy in Hawaii?

  28. Sofia says:

    Hello sir,
    My name is Sofia. Want to ask you a question about Chinese family visa (Q2). My husband is Chinese from Shanxi province and we have being married about 10 years , but now we wanna get a divorce. I have a question about my visa , which is valid till 2019. Usually after divorce Chinese family visa will be cancelled? Or I still can use it? I can’t find any information about such situation and hope u can help. If I will have Q2 visa in my passport after divorce and go back to my country for a few months , after I want to come to China again with same visa will I have any problem with custom (can they find out I’m divorced already and won’t let me in to China)? Hope you can help me .
    With kind regards ,

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Sofia, i would say there won’t be any problem so long as the visa is still on your passport. Strictly speaking, it is no longer valid but law on the books is different from the law in practice. Good luck!

  29. Bradly says:

    Hello Jason.

    Wonderful blog!

    I am back in my home country of Canada now after having a horrible Spring Festival with my wife in China. Things weren’t working out after several years of trying, yet I didn’t have the time before leaving for Canada to go to Harbin with her to file for a divorce. I thought that we would continue to talk about the situation when I was back in Canada in efforts to work things out. The other day I received divorce dispute papers (all in Chinese, not English) from a lawyer in China. I cannot return to China in the near future to get a divorce with her. I do understand that after 2 years of my last leaving China she will be able to get a divorce without me. I doubt that she’d even be able to marry again within that 2 year period of time. Understand that even though my marriage is valid in Canada, I never took the appropriate steps to register my marriage in Canada. What would you suggest that I do and as I don’t trust her anymore, is there anyway that she can cause me further grief? Thanks in advance for your response.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Bradly, if you wish to divorce her, then just authorize an attorney to represent you in court proceeding in China. Is there any serious dispute with your wife regarding property and child custody?

      1. Bradly says:

        Hi Jason, no there is no serious dispute with my wife regarding property/child custody.

        I don’t have the money to pay for a lawyer in China who can represent me in a court over there.

        My wife basically wiped me dry.

        Since I won’t be showing up at the court hearing in China is there anything she can do to me as I’m in Canada now?

        Once again, understanding that I have never registered the marriage here in Canada and she can get a divorce on her own come 2 years after I left China last…

  30. Casey says:

    Thanks for all the clear advice. I have a friend who married a chinese girl (Fujian province) in 2001. (Arranged by his grandmother who was from there) Because he was still an Indonesian Citizen living in the US, it required 4 years before he was able to sponsor her to join him in the US. By then she had a boyfriend and wasn’t interested in joining him. Instead she took the Chinese passport he had just paid for, and moved to Argentina where she and her Chinese “husband” (marital status?) had a daughter of their own. 2 years later my friend married a girl in Indonesia, (2007) sponsored her to come to the US, and now has 2 children of their own.

    Looking back, he now realizes he should have got a divorce. But the question is how can he do so now? He never slept with his wife from China, and she rejected him. Neither of them have lived in China for many years and they are world’s apart from each other. He still has the Chinese marriage certificate. Can he obtain a legal divorce in the US, (either from the local US government, or from the Chinese consulate here in the US) without returning to China where he might face anti-bigame penalties?

  31. Reza says:

    Ni Hao Mr Tian,

    I would like you ask for your assistance in helping my wife (Chinese) and myself (Canadian) relocate back to Shanghai. We were married in Auckland New Zealand and have the marriage certificate there. I understand to be married in China I need to provide document proving I’m single? But we are already married? Is there an alternative to this so we can also have a proper registry in China as we plan to live to there for the long term.
    If this is something that is possible we may use you services for it please let us know.
    (PS: I currently hold a business visa for 6 years to China but we to understand what visa I should properly enter with as well.)

    Many thanks for your wisdom in advance.


    1. Jason Tian says:

      Reza, it is not something i can help much with. Best policy is to get your Chinese wife to talk to local civil department about this. When your wife inquires, make sure she doesn’t disclose her own Identity or just pretend she is inquiring on behalf of others. My understanding is that you don’t have to register your marriage again here in China as you are legally married already.

      For more information, you can refer to this web article, which is quite reliable: http://m.yorkbbs.ca/news/local/1717308.html

  32. Douglas Wolf says:

    Hello Mr. Tian,

    This website seems very informative and hope you can help. My name is Doug. I plan to marry a Beijing girl this Spring Festival. We met here in Ohio and she stays here during her vacations and I go there for mine to study. We have dated for 2 years now, I live here in Ohio and stayed with her about 2-3 months last winter. I will stay with her in Beijing again this Spring Festival until April. I have never been married and I am concerned about all my assets that I had before the marriage. I own my home completely and I also own a ice cream store. I wonder if she ever decided to divorce me can she get any of my properties or other assets such as cars and other things??

    Hope you can advise me.

    Thank you,

  33. Douglas Wolf says:

    Hello Mr. Tian,t 2-3 months every winter.

    This website seems very informative and hope you can help. My name is Doug. I plan to marry a Beijing girl this Spring Festival. We have dated for 2 years now, I live here and stay with her about last 2 winters. have never been married and I am concerned about all my assets that I had before the marriage. I own my home completely and I also own a ice cream store. I wonder if she ever decided to divorce me can she get any of my properties or other assets such as cars and other things??

    Hope you can advise me.

    Thank you,

    1. Jason Tian says:

      sorry, i have not been able to respond. Home bought by you before marriage will always be yours but the profits arising from your ice cream business will be shared by her equally upon divorce.

  34. Joseph says:

    Hello Mr. Tian

    I hold a EU passport and married to a Chinese woman in Shanghai under Chinese and my country’s law.

    We have a son, 2 years old, with European passport, and both my wife and son are living in Shanghai. For job reasons, my company just sent me to Europe to work and my wife does not want to come with me, which I disagree. She does not have a job since few years years ago and only reason for her to say in Shanghai is because she likes it and has family there.

    We want to file a divorce. Now 2 questions:

    1) Custody – i understand i have 0 chances to keep the custody of my son and bring him back to Europe, since China will protect my wife, who is Chinese. But I would like to see him often. If we sign a divorce agreement in China and she doesnt let me see him after, is this agreement enforceable in China? ie will I be able to see my son with the help of the authorities? Do i have rights in China to see my son?
    2) Money – If we agree on a monthly payment, can she ask for more (ie 2/3rds of my salary?) even though this amount is few times the amount needed to pay school fees etc? I’m afraid she will ask me a lot of money, since he knows my compensation.

    Many thanks.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Joseph, I think you are right on the custody issue, as the child is too young to leave his mother and you don’t really have better caring than his mother, though you are bread-earner of the family. For money, you simply pay half (maybe a bit more than half) whatever you have at the time of divorce to her, no alimony for her in China, but you need to pay support to your son based on his actual needs. So you don’t have to give 2 thirds of your salary.

  35. Damion says:

    Hi Jason, I was married in Shanghai in 2013 , in 2015 we separated and my wife went to Australia while I stayed in Shanghai for work. She has managed to get Australian PR and now I feel after nearly 2 years apart we should get a divorce. I have mentioned the idea and she just says to stay married and for me to “enjoy my life”. What should I do?

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Simple, go to court in Shanghai to get your divorce with the help of the court.

  36. China says:

    Hi Mr tian.

    I have an ex boyfriend that inflicted sosevere mental distress that is affecting my ability to function as I used to. He is an expat in shanghai. And of UK citizenship. I am a resident of Hong Kong. I want to sue him for personal injury. . Do I bring this case to shanghai of hongkon. My medical documents span from hk, shanghai and USA.
    Your advice is deeply appreciated.

    Thank you for your time

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi there, if you sue for personal injury, don’t do it in China, as China has a very poor record in granting good compensation to injured party, and you will be disappointed for sure. So talk to a lawyer outside of China in HK, UK or USA.

  37. Wong Kwan says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am a Hong Kong citzen and married a chinese wife 3 years ago in China. After the first year of marriage, we have a lot of argument. One year ago, my wife deserted me and I cannot trace her in China. Now I want divorce. What is the procedure ? Whether I diovrce in Hong Kong or China ? I cannot find my wife to serve the divorce documents. What can I do ?

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Wong, if you got married in the mainland, you’d better divorce her in the mainland also so long as she still has the citizenship of the mainland. in the worst case, you can file the divorce in her hukou area where her household registration was done.

  38. Warren says:

    Married for 12 years and now seeing an end to the marriage. A lot money and house is in Shanghai, and I now live in UAE. In this situation the wife has all the assets/money. Also we have two kids attending school too.

    She has said no to a divorce. But if we split the house 50/50 then I have offered to support the children and her to a certain extent, not 50/50 though. Based on your blog, I can see myself losing, so is the only alternative a divorce in Australia where I can show the magistrate the assets that are with my wife. And from here I can at least start again!

  39. Mr. Smith says:

    Hi Jason,

    It’s very good of you to give advice on these forums, so thank you in advance. Here’s my situation. I’m British, been married to a Chinese lady for 2 years. All through our relationship before we got married I made it clear I did not want children, we even split up once, then she told me she didn’t want to be without me so would give up having children. So i said let’s get married then.

    2 years later the relationship has been hell. Since the day we got married she has been miserable, didn’t want to do anything always horrible to me, because i wouldn’t have kids with her. A couple of months ago i couldn’t take anymore and moved out. I warned her months before that the situation was critical and i couldn’t live like this. Things just got worse. Anyway i moved out and have now asked her for divorce. She has said she will divorce me only if i pay her money half of 2 years of my salary.

    I feel i have been honest all through our marriage and in return got a life of misery. I don’t want to pay her anything. We have no joint assets, no kids obviously. We are both in Shanghai and got married in Shanghai. When we were together i paid the rent on our apartment, she paid the bills and food.The rent was considerably more than the bills etc

    Could you advise on my next step please.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Mr. Smith, understand your situation. You have no other choice but to sue to divorce unless you can talk her into divorce by agreement? I doubt it. Then get prepared to go to court to divorce.

      If you want to know more information about this, then let us meet up and talk.

  40. Mrs. Zhang says:

    Hello Jason,

    I am American and I married a Shanghainese man in 2013. I only recently found out that he was married before and he has a ten year old son in China. I fear that I have been tricked. How can I find a record to see if he is actually divorced in China?

    Ms. Z

    1. Jason Tian says:

      That could be found out by looking into his Hukou books. You got married in USA? If he has divorced his Chinese wife, then he may run into criminal trouble of bigamy. Don’t understand why men cheat in this way.

      1. Mrs. Zhang says:

        How do I access those?

        1. Jason Tian says:

          Hire a lawyer to go to local police station to do the search.

          1. Mrs. Zhang says:


            Through friends in China, a Chinese policeman found that he was still married in China in 2014 but I need a lawyer for the rest of this process. How long would this take and are you available?

  41. andrew says:

    I am a Canadian citizen and married a Chinese lady in Zhanjiang in October 2013. The intention was for her to move to Canada. However her application for permanent residence was refused. Now I think the best thing is for us to divorce.If we can reach an agreement do I have to return to China to sign divorce papers or can I be represented by a lawyer?
    Thanks; Andrew.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      yes, if you come to agreement on the divorce, you can just come back to local civil affair department to register your divorce there. Otherwise, you will have to go through court proceeding to get divorced in which case you don’t have to come over but be represented by a lawyer here.

  42. juvy gaskill says:

    hi sir good day my husband is american were married for 3yrs. im a philipina and were living in my country he had a wife i just found out in china and they get married in china.he want to divorce here and shes willing too but we want to know how we can make this possible and what we need?thank you so much we hope you can help us.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      i cannot help your divorce in Phillipine.

    2. Jason Tian says:

      i don’t think there is much i can do here. if you want to divorce him, sue in your country. I heard that in your country, there is no divorce, right? also, your husband may have violated China bigamy law, and may be found guilty and thus be sentenced to imprisonment in China.

  43. Steve Gregg says:

    Dear Jason Tian,

    I am a British Citizen, currently living in the UK. Through the internet, I met a lady from Shenzhen who I have proposed to and we intend to marry in Hong Kong on 29th September 2016. My fiancée was refused a UK visa to study in 2001 and therefore, has little interest in living in my country, unless she can study English here. We have just spent the last month on vacation in Europe – following her successful application for a Schengen Visa, but she considers the Europeans prejudicial. Last year, I bought property in Portugal to retire to, which my fiancée displayed interest in residing in with me, but having viewed it, she identified a number of issues that she says, prevent her residing there. We spent a week in Greece, which is the only country she has expressed interest in. My fiancée is currently looking for a home for us in the Shenzhen area and seeks a 500,000 RMB from me representing a 30% deposit on a villa in Huizhou. I had a near fatal heart attack in 2014, the deposit represents nearly 80% of my assets and would mean I change every aspect of my intended plans. I read some tales of woe here and I hear the Chinese Authorities favour their own citizens in divorce proceedings. Is a pre-nuptial agreement the only way I can protect myself against loss if the relationship were to end in divorce?
    If a divorce did occur, would Hong Kong divorce laws apply or Chinese, being our intended place of residence?

    Many thanks for your help.

    Yours sincerely,


    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Steve, this is something you should be careful of. Given it is not possible for you to appear on the title deed (you may further check it out with local real estate authority), a pre-nuptial agreement may be the only way you can protect yourself. Also after the down payment, if you continue in paying off the mortgage loan, keep all evidences of your payment. Legally speaking, if you’d better to buy the property after getting married instead of buying before marriage, in which case you may be able to add your name on the title deed.

      1. Steve Gregg says:

        Hi Jason,

        After posting my question here, I discovered that a fairly recent change in law favours the Title Deed Holder of the property irrespective of gender or circumstances, in a divorce situation overseen by the Chinese Authorities. Your reply was absolutely correct, I cannot get my name on the Title Deed and your suggestions are the only alternatives of self-protection. Thank you your advice has proved most helpful.

  44. Melvin hindmarch says:

    Hi Jason, I wish to divorce my chinese wife of 2 years. We married in china and she continued to live in china for one year after the marriage. I am British living in france. We jointly bought property together in france, I have lived in the property for 2 years and my wife for 10 months. She walked out in march this year after a row over her contact with many different divorced men on her Facebook, lieing over her financial issues (still jointly owns an apartment in China with her ex chinese husband) making demands for expensive diamond ring (then she will remove the men on FB)!! I have made her an offer for her to release her 50% equity on our joint property and divorce, she has agreed to this and I have seen the french notaire and a meeting is imminent. But she is one minute accepting then next minute refusing a divorce. She did send a letter to the notaire accepting divorce and a specific financial settlement. If she refuses to go to the notaire in france, she is in france still,(and thus refusing an amicable divorce) where do I stand? I think she is worried about 2 issues
    1) She brought over approx 40,000 euros to france in cash, against my written advice.
    2) Do you think she would be removed from france when the divorce is finalised?

    Thanks for any comments.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Melvin, where did you get married with your Chinese wife? You may have to sue her at the place where you registered your marriage or other place where you can prove she has been living there for more than a year till now. Have you ever written up some pre-nuptial agreement regarding property ownership with her?

      It is best you divorce her in China for (1) you married in China, and once divorce is done here, you are single all over the world; (2) China laws will not order husband to pay any alimony to divorced wife.

      Whether she will be removed from France is a matter of French laws and I am not in a position to comment much. But as matter of international practice, if her visa expires, she may have to come back to China.

      Let us communicate further on the matter through emails.

      1. Melvin hindmarch says:

        Hello Jason.
        Thanks for your reply.
        Married in Jiaxing
        No pre-nuptial although I did discuss this in length with my french notaire at the time who considered it not neccessary as we put equal monies into the joint property here in france…
        The notaire also said that any monies earned prior to the marriage is protected here in France.

        I have put considerable more of my monies into the property and have the receipts, together with 22 months hard work. She did not put further monies into the house. She promised in writing that she would sell one of her 2 apartments in china to help out here but that didn`t happen. It now appears that the ex chinese husband continues to own half of one of these apartments which she of course did not disclose to me..

        We purchased the property jointly in July 2014, she moved here to france, to the home April 2015 and moved out March this year, 2016. I have the address where she is staying in france.

        I have been registered disabled in France for a number of years and have had no income to speak of in the last 2 tax years.

        Please feel free to reply via email.

        Many thanks.

        1. Jason Tian says:

          Hi Melvin, Jiaxing, the city of Zhejiang province, close to Shanghai? In that case, I can help you through the divorce proceeding here. Many clients asked me about divorce in cities far away from Shanghai which often means that I am not in a good position to help them.

          Ok, if you are determined to end the marriage, then let us discuss some practical issues. I will send an email to you shortly.

      2. Melvin hindmarch says:

        She is also refusing to go to the notaire next week, although she did send a letter to the notaire accepting divorce and accepting a final financial settlement from me…

  45. mark says:

    Hi My name is mark , from London UK . I got married in Dalian in 2011 I have been separated from my wife since 2012 we are living in London. I am a UK citizen, she now has UK citizenship.
    Can I get divorced without returning to Dalian? She would also like to divorce me, I don’t want to have to return to China?

  46. Maria says:

    Mr.Tian, ni hao,
    In 2014 married in HKG: me German,widow,67 my husband chinese( PRC),58,divorced,1 son 28, student. We got to know already in 1998, he speeks perfect german, I am TCM doctor, with some China experience.After failure of living together in Germany because of a lot of “small and big problems” he now prefers to stay in China. Before thinking and starting for a divorce – he actually refuses- my question:
    is it possible in China ( as in Germany) to
    create a contract on friendly terms, certified by Notary?
    1. to arrange separate of property,dispense of maintenance during marital status and in case of divorce
    2.to agree upon waive of providing, each other
    3.to agree upon wave of inheritance each other ( is legitimate portion irrevocable?)
    I will be in Shanghai soon for some days.
    Thank you very much for answering. M.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Maria, i don’t think China notary public will be helping with notarizing the said contract with friendly terms.

      1. separation of properties can be achieved by a private agreement between the parties. If terms are mutually agreed, this can be notarized here in China. I have helped another Germany client in signing a pre-nuptial agreement in Shanghai and get it notarized. Nuptial agreement during marriage is also valid in China.

      2. Under Chinese laws, i don’t think you can avoid the obligation to support your spouse unless you divorce him.

      3. Inheritance is something you can waive before the death of the deceased. However, if you don’t want to leave him anything, a will will attain this goal, so draft a will.

      You are welcome to visit our office when you are around in Shanghai.

  47. Shanshan Xu says:

    hi. just a quick question, which marriage law my husband and me shall follew if we married in china? he is british and i am chinese. thanks

    1. Jason Tian says:

      it depends. regarding community property, you can choose the applicable law. Upon divorce, generally the laws of the place of the competent court will apply.

    2. Norman says:

      just a few words of praise for Jason.
      using his telephone service to enquire about domestic and custody issues concerning a mixed marriage in China. I was absolutely impressed with his honest and open response. although much of what he said didn’t make me smile or give me hope for my issues, he was totally honest….thanks Jason

      1. Ray says:


        What about when the wife is Chinese citizen and he is US citizen and both reside in US for 5 years and in proceed of divorce in California US, do they need to go back to China to file for divorce since the marry was in China and have community property in China together?

        1. Jason Tian says:

          in this case, she can file a divorce in both USA and China.

  48. John Ryan says:

    I married a woman from Shanghai in Shanghai in June of 2013. As we went thru the paperwork for immigration to obtain a spousal visa I found out that she had lied about several things. Her age, schooling, money etc. I flew to shanghai and ended the relationship because of these lies. I thought that was it, but she went on and went to the interview and received a visa to come to the US. She came here in February 2015 for 10 days and I told her that I was shocked that she did this and I wanted a divorce. I hired a lawyer here to do a quick uncontested divorce and she said she would sign the paperwork. Well another lie, she will not sign. I can come to Shanghai, but I don’t know if she will sign the paperwork. Can you tell me my options at this point. Thank you

    1. Jason Tian says:

      If she won’t cooperate in ending the marriage peacefully, you can only sue to divorce either in USA or china. No other options.

  49. Hannah says:

    Am a Nigerian woman married to a Chinese man we’ve been married for two years, one day when I return home from the hospital I found out that my Chinese husband was gone he left with my marriage certificate and our child’ s birth certificate later I received a call from him telling me he was in China and that he is embarrassed by having a black wife and a black child, he told me he want to marry a Chinese woman he recently met then I told him we have to divorce if not I cannot move on or remarry here in my country. Now I want to get a divorce so that I can move on with my life but I don’t know Chinese law consigning child custody and compensation as am not working and need some money to care for the child and myself before I get a good job. Secondly I heard from a friend that if I take the child to China to have the divorce I may not return with him as Chinese law only favour its citizens, the child is only one year and need his mother, how do I get the divorce done without losing my son and in the absent of the marriage certificate? Can the Chinese embassy anole the marriage? How do I take my son to China in future if he ask questions about his father or his origin?

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi there, I am sorry to hear that. What you hear from your friend is definitely wrong. You can come to China to divorce him here in China. Since your child is just a baby, the court will for sure let you have the custody of your child, after all your husband seem not be willing to have this black son. Given that your husband is getting married with a Chinese woman soon, he should be more worried and eager to divorce you in order to move his own life on.

      Where is he in China? You may have to hire a local lawyer to help you. You can however ask your husband to pay the bill if he is the one escaping the marriage.

    2. chen ximeng says:

      Hello, Hannah, I am Chen Ximeng, Global Times reporter. I am doing a cover feature story about the custody issue of mixed marriages with Chinese. I was wondering whether you are willing to accept our interview and we can keep anonymous. Thanks very much. You can reach me at [email protected]

  50. Carl says:

    Jason, If both parties agree to the divorce, is there a standard form Divorce Agreement? If not, how is it worded and what has to be in the agreement that will satisfy the civil authority to grant the divorce. We would like to have this all completed before our return from the USA to Chongqing. You are in Shanghai, can you complete for us for Chongqing? If we have all the paperwork completed and documents needed (example: passports, marriage booklets, household card etc.) can we proceed quickly to divorce? Thank you Jason, Carl

    1. Jason Tian says:

      Hi Carl, if both parties agree to divorce, you can simply reach a divorce agreement which shall cover basically the community property and child support and custody. Then it can be as quick as half an hour for you to complete the divorce with civil authority. What are needed to be prepared depend much on what are covered in the divorce. I have just helped a couple to divorce in China in agreement in Shanghai, I believe Chongqing should have similar requirements. To be sure, once hired, we will help you to inquire about the documentation in Chongqing.

  51. Jaime Figueras de Codes says:

    Hello Sir,I met this lady Chinese National on the Internet after 7 monthsof correspondance,we both decided I should travel to Chongqing to meet her and her family and friends.We got on very well and decided to get married it was like a whirlwind I am sure I was in shock.After the civil marriage she wanted a church marriage with approximately 80 guests invited I disagreed since then we realised that communication was non existant we didn’t speak the same language,when I told her I had sold my property in Victoria but hadn’t bought another house she felt I didn’t tell her the thruth then I decided to return to Australia which I did,mentioning we should get divorced,which she agreed stating if I travelled back to Chongqing we could get divorced there and then.Is there another way of getting divorce quickly without me having to travel all the way back to Chongqing for 4 days to make the divorce annualled,can the same arrangement be made from Australia?I will appreciate your advice.Thank you.
    Kind regards
    jaime Figueras de Coes

    1. Jason Tian says:

      If both of you have agreed on the divorce, it is probably the most efficient way to divorce that you come to China cohonging to divorce. Otherwise you may only divorce though court which will take longer time and cost more money.

  52. BB says:

    I have gotten in contact with a divorce attorney in Shanghai that I found online. To begin an Agreement on Retaining Legal Counsel I have been requested to email a copy of my passport photo page, copy of marriage certificate, home address and phone number. Are these standard requests or should I exercise caution in giving out this personal information. Is there a website in China I can use to validate the authenticity of the law firm and lawyer? Want to make sure I am dealing with a trustworthy person before sending out such personal information.

    1. Jason Tian says:

      you should trust the attorney you choose. Without trust, it is hard for you to work with him or her. There is nothing standard. Different attorney may request different information about your personal information. However, in regard of divorce documents, it should be the same despite different attorneys.

      There are small firms where attorneys are not well supervised by their firms. That is why clients esp foreign clients not familiar with Chinese legal market often go for big firms in which everything is more regulated than small ones.

      You can send me an email regarding your situation, and let me see how I can help you there.

  53. Luis raccuglia says:

    Hello sir, my name is luis raccuglia, about two years ago(2012), I got married in China to a chinese girl I met here in Melbourne Australia, we are both living here in melbourne australia, we made a decision recently and realise that our marriage is not working at all too many financial/money problems and other personal problems, so we made that decision peacefully that our marriage is not working, according to my wife she believe we should get divorce in China, which she believe it will be easier, is it necessary for both of us to travel to China just to sign divorce papers and I’ll end coming back to Australia once all the paper work is done, or can we do that from Australia since we both are living here, any information would be appreciated, with kind regards. Luis raccuglia

    1. Jason Tian says:

      your wife is right. If you got married in China and registered your marriage here, you’d better come over to sign the divorce paper. It won’t take long so long as you sign the divorce agreement with your wife beforehand. If you need my assistance on it, please send me email.

      1. Luis raccuglia says:

        Hello there In November I wrote to you about my wife wanting to divorce in China, dos we got married there in 2012, I don’t mine going to China to sign the divorce papers, but if it’s not too much trouble I like to see what the divorce papers look like, before I sign anything or go to China, if you would kindly email a sample of what the divorce papers look like it would be appreciated, it would be fantastic if that could be possible, I don’t want to sign anything unless I look at the papers and be able to read exactly what I’m getting myself and my wife into, any information would be appreciated, with kind regards. Luis raccuglia

        1. Jason Tian says:

          contents of the paper are decided by the parties. You can pre-sign an agreement with your wife before you came to China. then you can submit that divorce agreement to China authority. Make sure it is written in or translated into Chinese language.

  54. ahsan karim says:

    hello sir
    my name is ahsan karim and i am from pakistan currently living in ireland .

    in 2009 i merry with a chinese girl in chengdu and now i am living in ireland and she is living in chengdu china .

    now we both want get divorce but the problem is i am in ireland and due to a very busy time i have no time to go and sign for divorce doccument in chengdu china .

    can i get divorce from her outside from china or i must go to china and sign in a divorce doccument .

    please help me in this or i go to china embassy in ireland and write a letter or sign on a divorce doccument .

    prestenly she is living in china for the last 5 years and i live in ireland how i can give her divorce from ireland because i am very very busy here thats why not able to go to china

    please help me