Number of divorce, property-related cases involving seniors rising in Beijing

Updated: Oct 15, 2021 Print
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A Beijing court has seen the number of domestic cases involving older adults grow rapidly, and many of those cases are related to divorce and property inheritance, according to a court report.

The Beijing Xicheng District People's Court issued the report on Thursday — China's Chongyang, or Double Ninth Festival, a day to appreciate the elderly. It said the court heard 15,978 domestic cases from Jan 1, 2016, to June 30 this year, and 51 percent of them involved residents over 60 years old.

Those disputes frequently focused on family property inheritance and divorce in the district, said Zhao Ying, an official from the court.

"More than 58 percent of divorce cases we resolved were initiated by people aged 60 or older," she added.

Liang Liang, one of the court's judges, said the number of cases involving seniors is rising along with Xicheng's population of older adults, which reached 437,000 last year, far more than the national average.

"Divorce between remarried senior couples and inheritance disputes caused by the remarriages were often seen in our court," she said.

To prevent such disputes, Liang suggested seniors reach a clear agreement on property allocations and create wills before their remarriages. She also called for more social efforts to promote the traditional virtue of youth showing respect to older people and protecting their legitimate interests.

While establishing a quicker channel to deal with senior-related cases, the court has also asked mediators and judges to visit older people if they are having difficulties traveling to the court.

Meanwhile, the court has helped solve disputes involving seniors and their children who live outside of Beijing, including those who are overseas, through an online platform. It is also guiding mediation institutions in the district to help seniors access their cases using computers, smartphones and mini programs on WeChat, China's popular instant messaging tool, to make case handling more efficient.


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