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Why are officials in one nation limiting divorces to 15 per day?

Last time, our blog discussed how one family law attorney identified what he believed were the seven worst states for divorce based on such interesting points as filing fees, waiting periods, etc. and briefly examined the difficulty of actually securing a divorce in some of these states.

While the conditions in these states are undoubtedly onerous, they perhaps pale in comparison to the condition present in one heavily populated area in China, where those couples looking to divorce had better plan on getting up very early in the morning.

For the last two-plus years, the bureau of civil affairs in the Chang'an District of Xi'an City, which is home to over one million people, has been embarking on a crusade to save families and end what it calls "impulsive divorces."

In order to accomplish this, the bureau of civil affairs has been limiting the amount of divorce filings to a maximum of 15 per day, meaning couples eager to split will have to keep trying until they secure a favorable spot in line.

Interestingly, the practice, which gained worldwide exposure after one disgruntled couple voiced their frustration with state media, is not the first time that officials in China have introduced some interesting restrictions on divorce.

This past February, the civil affairs bureau in Xuzhou, which is home to roughly 9 million people, refused to accept divorce filings on Valentine's Day.

These efforts to limit divorce, while admittedly small in scale, are perhaps not altogether surprising given that China has recently seen a dramatic uptick in the number of divorces. Indeed, there were 3.5 million divorces in 2013, an increase of more than 10 percent from the previous year.

While there is really no need to worry about seeing divorces here in Minnesota or anywhere else in the U.S. being subject to such a quota, all of this nevertheless serves to underscore how important it is to speak with an experienced legal professional who can fully explain what to expect under the law and answer any questions you might have.

Source: CNN World, "Want a divorce? Come back tomorrow (or not), say Chinese officials," Steven Jiang, Aug. 19, 2014

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