posted on May, 15 2010 @ 06:45 AM
Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China
（Adopted at the Third Session of the Fifth National People's Congress on September 10,1980,and amended in accordance with《Decision Regarding the
Amendment（of Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China)》passed at 21st Session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's
Congress on April 28,2001）
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 This Law is the Fundamental code governing marriage and family relations.
Article 2 A marriage system based on the free choice of partners, on monogamy and on equality between man and woman shall be applied.
The lawful rights and interests of women, children and old people shall be protected.
Family planning shall be practised.
Article 3 Marriage upon arbitrary decision by any third party, mercenary marriage and any other acts of interference in the freedom of marriage shall
be prohibited. The exaction of money or gifts in connection with marriage shall be prohibited.
Bigamy shall be prohibited. Cohabitation of a married person with any third party shall be prohibited. Domestic violence shall be prohibited. Within
the family maltreatment and desertion of one family member by another shall be prohibited.
Article 4 Husband and wife shall be faithful to and respect each other. Within the family family members shall respect the old and cherish the young,
help one another, and maintain equal, harmonious and civilized marriage and family relations.
Chapter II Marriage Contract
Article 5 Marriage must by based upon the complete willingness of both man and woman. Neither party may use compulsion on the other party and no third
party may interfere.
Article 6 No marriage may be contracted before the man has reached 22 years of age and the woman 20 years of age. Late marriage and late childbirth
shall be encouraged.
Article 7 No marriage may be contracted under any of the following circumstances:
(1)if the man and the woman are lineal relatives by blood, or collateral relatives by blood up to the third degree of kinship; and
(2)if the man or the woman is suffering from any disease, which is regarded by medical science as rendering a person unfit for marriage.
Article 8 Both the man and the woman desiring to contract a marriage shall register in person with the marriage registration office. If the proposed
marriage is found to conform with the provisions of this Law, the couple shall be allowed to register and issued marriage certificates. The husband
and wife relationship shall be established as soon as they acquire the marriage certificates. In the absence of the marriage registration, the man and
the woman shall go through the procedures subsequently.
Article 9 After a marriage has been registered, the woman may become a member of the man's family or vice versa, depending on the agreed wishes of
the two parties.
Article 10 Marriage shall be invalid under any of the following circumstances:
(1)if one party commits bigamy;
(2)if the man and the woman are relatives by blood up to the third degree of kinship;
(3)if, before marriage, one party is suffering from a disease which is regarded by medical science as rendering a person unfit for marriage and, after
marriage, a cure is not effected; and
(4)if the legally marriageable age is not attained.
Article 11 In the case of a marriage made under coercion, the coerced party may make a request to the marriage registration office or the people's
court for the dissolution of the marriage contract. Such a request shall be made within one year as of the marriage registration date. The party
concerned whose personal freedom is curbed illegitimately shall make a request for dissolution of the marriage contract within one year as of the date
on which his or her personal freedom is restored.
Article 12 Void or dissolved marriage shall be invalid from its inception. Neither party concerned shall have the rights and duties of husband or
wife. The property acquired during their cohabitation shall be subject to disposition by mutual agreement. If they fail to reach an agreement, the
people's court shall give a ruling on the principle of caring for the no-fault party. The disposition of the property of void marriage caused by
bigamy may not be to the detriment of the property rights and interests of the party concerned to the lawful marriage. The provisions of this Law
regarding parents and children shall apply to the children born from the parties concerned.
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 may 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 items of property acquired by husband and wife during the period in which they are under contract of marriage shall be
(1)pay and bonus;
(2)earnings from production and operation;
(3)earnings from intellectual property rights;
(4)property obtained from inheritance of gift except as provided for in Article 18(3) of this Law; and
(5)Any other items of property which shall be in his or her separate possession.
Article 19 So far as the property acquired during the period in which they are under contract of marriage and the prenuptial property are concerned,
husband and wife may agree as to whether they should be in the separate possession, joint possession or partly separate possession and partly joint
possession. The agreement shall be made in writing. The provisions of Articles 17 and 18 of this Law shall apply to the absence of such an agreement
or to a vague one.
The agreement reached between the husband and wife on the property acquired during the period in which they are under contract of marriage and on the
prenuptial property is binding on both parties.
If husband and wife agree, as is known to the third party, to separately possess their property acquired during their marriage life, the debt owed by
the husband or the wife to any other person, shall be paid off out of the property separately possessed by him or her.
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 who are incapable of living on their own shall have the right to demand the cost of
upbringing from their parents.
If children fail to perform their duty, parents who are unable to work or have difficulties in providing for themselves shall have the right to demand
support payments from their children.
Infant drowning, deserting and any other acts causing serious harm to infants and infanticide shall be prohibited.
Article 22 Children may adopt their father's or their mother's surname.
Article 23 Parents shall have the right and duty to subject their children who are minors to discipline and to protect them. 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 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 the natural mother who does not rear directly his or her child born out of wedlock shall bear the child's living and
educational expenses until the child can support himself or herself.
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 right and duties in the relationship between a foster child and his or her natural parents shall terminate with the establishment of this
Article 27 Maltreatment or discrimination shall not be permitted between stepparents and stepchildren.
The relevant provisions in this Law governing the relationship between parents and children shall apply to the rights and duties in the relationship
between stepfathers or stepmothers and their stepchildren who receive care and education from them.
Article 28 Grandparents or maternal grandparents who can afford it shall have the duty to bring up their grandchildren or maternal grandchildren who
are minors and whose parents are dead or have no capacity of bringing them up. Grandchildren or maternal grandchildren who can afford it shall have
the duty to support their grandparents or maternal grandparents whose children are dead or cannot afford it.
Article 29 Elder brothers or elder sisters who can afford it shall have the duty to bring up their younger brothers or sisters who are minors if their
parents are dead or have no means to bring them up. Younger brothers or sisters who have been brought up by their elder brothers or elder sisters and
have the means of maintenance shall have the duty to support them who are lacking in the capacity to work and in the source of income.
Article 30 Children shall have respect for their parents' matrimonial rights and shall not interfere in their parents' remarriage and postnuptial
life. Children's duty to maintain their parents shall not terminate with the change in their parents' matrimonial relationship.