Passing Romance? Judge makes couple take test in deciding divorce case
Taking an exam is probably not something you would associate with love. But a local court in southwest China's Sichuan Province has come up with a divorce test, hoping to reduce the number of divorce cases it sees. Chuck Tinte has the details.
Several minutes could be all it takes to find out whether a couple is meant to stay together. Recently, couples seeking divorce in Sichuan Province's Yibin County were offered the chance to take a special test. The written exam with multiple questions can determine whether a couple will enjoy wedded bliss -- whether they want to or not to -- or end up splitting apart. It was not devised by a teacher, but by a local judge.
WANG SHIYU, JUDGE PEOPLE'S COURT OF YIBIN COUNTY As a county with a population of more than a million, the court in Yibin receives hundreds of cases each year, with half of them being domestic ones. Divorce cases account for a large percentage. As I also have a family and a child, when I'm dealing with these cases, I don't want to see couples getting divorced in haste.
The first couple to take this exam had their divorce application rejected after performing too well in the test. After answering questions on topics such as the date of their wedding anniversary, their sweetest moments together, and the duties they have fulfilled in marriage, the couple earned scores 80 and 86, separately. The high scores suggested a healthy marriage. The judge said the wife -- the one who filed for the divorce -- became much calmer after the test, and agreed to the court's decision.
WANG SHIYU, JUDGE PEOPLE'S COURT OF YIBIN COUNTY Our intention is to know the real marriage status of the couple involved. They might also examine themselves and give consideration to the other half. After recalling bits and pieces of their marriage, they will be more rational towards it.
The divorce rate is on the rise in China, and statistics shows Sichuan Province had the highest number of couples who got a divorce in the first half of this year. The number of divorces in Beijing equals half of the new marriages in the same period. The test was not final -- the judge used it as just one more guide in making his decision. And while it isn't clear if he will use it again, it could give other couples pause before trying to cut the knot. Chuck Tinte, CGTN.