- Man finds out wife had been married to 6 men before, following same path of getting pregnant, having an abortion, then quickly filing for divorce
- Court orders return of bulk of betrothal gift over sham marriage
A man in China has sued his ex-wife for the 186,000 yuan (US$26,000) bride price he paid after she filed for divorce two months into the marriage following an abortion – a pattern she had repeated with six other men.
According to the mainland media outlet Legal Daily, the woman from central China’s Henan province, who uses the pseudonym, Shuang, met the man, Xiaoya, on a blind date set up by a matchmaker in March.
They got married two months later, and in July she found out she was pregnant but decided to have an abortion after claiming doctors found a fetal anomaly. She then filed for divorce after the abortion.
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Xiaoya agreed to the divorce but sued for the return of his betrothal gift.
Also known as a bride price, betrothal gifts are usually given from the family of the groom to that of the bride as a symbol of his financial strength and commitment to the marriage.
Two lower courts initially dismissed Xiaoya’s case, but during an appeal to a higher court he revealed that Shuang had been married to six men, following the same path of getting pregnant, having an abortion and then quickly filing for divorce.
He claimed she used marriage as a way to make money.
Xiaoya tracked down one father-in-law from a previous marriage to testify she had married his son, aborted the baby and divorced him within six months, after having received a betrothal gift that was never returned.
The high court ordered Shuang to return 100,000 yuan (US$14,000) to Xiaoya, ruling that she showed no intention to start a life with him.
The judge did not ask her to pay back all the money because she did go through a pregnancy and abortion.
The case has shocked mainland social media.
“Is her uterus made of iron? Or is this a pure scam?” said one person on Weibo.
“It is horrible to turn marriage into a business,” said another.
Couples who fight over betrothal gifts consistently make headlines in China.
In May, a man from central China broke up with his fiancee after her family demanded a bride price he thought was too high.
He said he had agreed to pay 188,000 yuan (US$26,000) to her family, but as the wedding day approached, she asked for another 30,000 yuan to buy gold jewellery.
The man then used his savings to travel around China, spending 30,000 yuan on trips to more than 40 cities in five months.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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