During the last century, the Chinese government decided to abolish the old family system and establish a new family idea: the socialist family system (the Marriage Code of 1950). This marked a turning point in Chinese common law and the beginning of a new family way of thinking. With this new act, the Chinese family system has clearly improved and an administrative regulation was set in place to supervise the family affairs.
Compared to the French family code, the Chinese family code is more general and some parts of the family system are less developed. Generally speaking, the French law is divided into two main categories: private law and public law. In our study, we will focus on private law, especially the civil law.
So, we are going to explain the differences between the Chinese and French family laws. Family law is a general term referring to any of the laws regarding familial relationships. This includes rules about how to marry, eligibility for marriage, how to separate or divorce, how adoption and filiations work, and the succession principles. This will be the different parts that we are going to follow and analyze.
1. Marriage in France and China
2. Comparison of the laws relative to divorce
5. Succession Law
In French and Chinese law, marriage is a legal act by which man and woman establish a common bond, which has to be obtained and recognized under specific conditions. This act is subject to conditions that will produce effects.
Particularities in China: The Marriage Law in People\'s Republic of China was modified in 2001; this amendment adapts to the variations in the economic development and social changes. In China, birth control is still practiced.
In both countries, marriage is only recognized between people of opposite genders, if the man and the woman are lineal relatives by blood or collateral relatives by blood up to the third degree of kinship, marriage is prohibited. Both spouses have to be at the wedding.
In France, minimum age required is 15 for women, 18 for men. If one of them is under 18, he/she has to get a parental authorization. The marriage has to be celebrated in the city where at least one spouse has resided in for more than one month. Two or four witnesses are necessary to certify their identity and attest that the wedding has been celebrated.
In China, in order to get married, the man shall not be younger than 22 years and the woman shall not be younger than 20. Late marriage and late childbirth is encouraged. If either the man or the woman suffers from any disease that is regarded by medical science as rending a person unfit for marriage, the marriage is not encouraged. In the case of intimidated marriage, the intimidated party may apply to the marriage registration authority or the people's court for canceling the said marriage. The intimidated party shall make the application within one year since the day of marriage registration. Where any party who is unlawfully confined in regard to personal freedom applies to cancel a marriage, he or she shall make the application within one year since the day he or she resumes personal freedom.
[...] Adoption Differences between France and China The adoption process is generally defined by a relation between a child adopted by parents who are not his parents, biologically speaking. The person or couple who wants to adopt a child is not obviously a person who cannot have children; this is just somebody who decides to create and to assume this relation. Prelude Let's give some figures to start with. In France, there are more than 10000 adoption demands per year. Potential parents require an agreement to initiate the adoption process demands are rejected, and it takes an average of nine months to get the agreement agreements were waiting for the next step of the process in 2008, and in general of those who obtain this agreement reach the end of the process; the others fail, or give it up. [...]
[...] The enjoyment of this condition is established by a satisfactory combination of facts, indicating the connexion of parent and child between an individual and the family to which he claims to belong. The principle of these facts are, That the individual has always borne the name of the father to whom he claims to belong; That the father has treated him as his child, and in that character has provided for his education, his maintenance, and his establishment; That he has been uniformly received as such in society; That he has been acknowledged as such by the family. [...]
[...] Thierry MATHOU, Consul général de France à Shanghai - Jeremy D. Morley, International Family Law, NY 2. Comparison of divorce laws in France and China The number of divorces increases every year in France as in China. The various texts of laws governing these decisions concentrate on various points. There are a large number of texts concerning norms and regulations pertaining to divorce in both countries. However, in each country, regulations differ on certain aspects. Getting divorced is a painful and costly process. [...]
[...] Number of Number marriages of divorces Rates in France For marriages Length of marriage Year of Divorce 1976 1986 1996 2006 Less than 1 year 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.5 1 year 2.9 4.2 3.1 6.3 2 years 7.7 12.4 12.0 16.0 3 years 9.8 16.8 18.8 27.1 4 years 11.2 18.2 23.5 30.2 5 years 11.3 17.9 23.0 26.9 6 years 11.3 17.6 21.4 24.5 7 years 10.3 16.6 19.9 22.2 8 years 9.8 16.1 19.4 21.2 9 years 8.7 15.3 17.4 20.1 10 years 8.5 14.0 16.9 18.7 11 years 7.7 14.0 15.4 17.1 12 years 6.9 12.8 14.8 16.3 13 years 6.2 11.4 14.2 15.6 14 years 5.4 11.5 13.0 14.6 15 years 5.0 11.0 12.2 13.7 16 years 4.8 10.5 11.7 13.5 17 years 4.2 9.6 11.2 12.6 18 years 4.1 9.4 10.6 12.1 19 years 3.8 8.4 9.8 11.8 20 years 3.7 7.5 9.7 10.9 21 years 3.3 7.1 9.0 10.3 22 years 3.0 6.3 8.0 9.7 23 years 2,7 5.6 7.7 9.3 24 years 2.3 5.3 7.2 8.1 25 years 1.9 4.4 6.2 7.8 26 years 1.8 3.9 6.4 6.9 27 years 1.6 3.5 5.2 6.2 28 years 1.4 3.0 4.5 5.8 29 years 1.1 2.5 4.3 5.2 Rates in China The divorce rate in China has increased by almost 20% over the past year, with 1.4 m couples filing for separation during 2007 (Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/) Figures released by the Civil Affairs Department revealed about 1.4 million divorces last year, up from 2006. [...]
[...] If one of the spouses default on this condition, it is considered an offence, which in France constitutes a cause of divorce and a criminal offense of family abandonment. It is viable grounds for separation of spouses. Debts: each French or Chinese spouse can engage these living expenses on their own but the principle entails an obligation of solidarity in debts. The French house protection: Spouses have to agree in accordance with an act which concerns the residential property. (It is not possible for just one spouse to sell a property belonging to both of them, for example) Financial independence in both countries: Each spouse has the right to choose the profession of his/her choice and use his/her revenues after contribution to family expenses, open a bank account with his/her own name and manage by himself/herself his/her individual goods. [...]
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