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Coronavirus: China records jump in divorce cases as couples ‘spend time together’

Divorce rates in China have risen significantly because ‘couples are spending too much time together at home’ during coronavirus self-isolation, according to register offices across the country, Daily Mail reports

Over 300 couples have scheduled appointments to get a divorce since February 24, said Lu Shijun, the manager of a marriage registry in Dazhou, Sichuan Province of south-western China.

Officials believe the sharp increase of divorce requests could be caused by the fact that partners have spent too much time in close quarters under quarantine.

‘The divorce rate [in the district] has soared compared to before [the coronavirus outbreak],’ Mr Lu told the local press.

‘Young people are spending a lot of time at home. They tend to get into heated arguments because of something petty and rush into getting a divorce,’ Mr Lu explained.

Another factor could be a result of delayed applications due to the council offices closing for nearly a month during the coronavirus epidemic.

Marriage registration offices in Xi’an of Shaanxi Province in north-western China have also seen an unprecedented rise of divorce appointments since re-opening on March 1, according to reports.

One district office received 14 requests in one day, hitting the upper limit set by the local council, a registration officer told Global Times.

Officials in Fuzhou, Fujian Province of southern China, have adjusted the number of divorce appointments to 10 couples a day after receiving an overwhelming amount of requests.

Scientists have been debating about whether spending time in close quarters is beneficial for couples.

A 2018 study found couples who lived together before marriage had lower divorce rates in the first year, compared to couples who didn’t.

But higher divorce rates appeared after people living with their spouses for five years or longer.

Another research showed living together could protect lovers against getting a divorce.

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