Draft document seen as key to solving family disputes

Updated: May 14, 2024 By Cao Yin China Daily Print
Share - WeChat

Proposed new provisions for legal cases involving one spouse who has excessively rewarded livestreaming hosts will help efficiently solve family disputes and unify standards for verdicts and division of assets in divorce proceedings, legal experts said.

They commented after the Supreme People's Court, China's top court, released a 21-article draft judicial interpretation on hot issues involving family matters, in order to solicit public opinion. The solicitation period closed at the end of last month.

The draft document of the Civil Code's marriage and family section states that if a spouse's tipping of livestreaming hosts exceeds the family's usual expenditure level, thereby causing significant damage to the couple's common property, then courts hearing a divorce case should support the other party's request that the person who gave such tips should receive a smaller share of assets in the settlement, or no share at all.

The draft also stipulates that if a litigant can prove that the livestreaming contained vulgar or pornographic content that lured internet users, including that person's spouse, into tipping the livestreamer, and the litigant asks that the livestreaming platform return the money, courts need to rule in favor of that person.

"These provisions will be conducive to removing the confusion in legal practice, providing courts with a clear answer in family lawsuits on how to deal with rewards given to livestreaming hosts," said Zhao Zhanling, a lawyer with Beijing Javy Law Firm.

Zhao said the code notes that the common property of a family includes many aspects, such as salaries, bonuses and rewards of husband and wife respectively, as well as the profits from production, business operation, investment and intellectual property of each side.

In addition, items or money inherited or gifted by either spouse after marriage also belong to the family's common property, he said.

"In general, one spouse can independently decide on daily expenses such as clothing, food, transportation or children's education for the sake of living needs," he said. "However, for significant expenditures, both parties must negotiate and reach an agreement."

Xu Hao, a lawyer with Beijing Jingsh Law firm, said that "specifying circumstances in which livestreaming rewards need to be returned is due to the increasingly frequent family and marital disputes arising from such issues nationwide".

In a recent case, a woman, after discovering that her husband had tipped a female livestreaming host over 800,000 yuan ($110,600) and had video calls with her, sued the livestreamer in a court in Jiangsu province, demanding the return of the money.

A similar conflict occurred between a couple in Henan province last year. A woman surnamed Ma sued a female livestreamer, after Ma found that her husband had given the host gifts worth about 700,000 yuan on the online platform.

Xu said that the tipping amounts in the two cases were "quite high", but "whether they can be deemed as 'excessive' still needs to be analyzed based on specific annual income of the families and local cost of living".

Furthermore, he said that it would be "very challenging" in practice for a spouse to collect vulgar or obscene content on livestreaming platforms.

The top court previously said that making the interpretation is to help judges more accurately apply the code, a fundamental law for regulating civil activities, as well as for strongly protecting the legitimate rights of women, children, the elderly and the disabled, and maintaining the stability and harmony of marriages and families.

Besides the livestreaming tipping, the draft also deals with the hot issue of individuals who prevent their former spouse from visiting their children after divorce by hiding the minors.

Zhao and Xu both said that judicial efficiency in tackling family disputes will be improved if the draft can be passed as soon as possible, with the two lawyers regarding passage as a crucial step in ensuring the implementation of the code.

Copyright©2024 China Daily. All rights reserved.


京公网安备 11010502032503号 京公网安备 11010502032503号