PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS IN CHINA

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Prenuptial agreements are now enforceable in China. Article 19 of the 2001 Marriage Law specifies that:

"So far as the property acquired during the period in which they are under contract of marriage and the prenuptial property are concerned, husband and wife may agree as to whether they should be in the separate possession, joint possession or partly separate possession and partly joint possession. The agreement shall be made in writing. The provisions of Articles 17 and 18 of this Law shall apply to the absence of such an agreement or to a vague one.

The agreement reached between the husband and wife on the property acquired during the period in which they are under contract of marriage and on the prenuptial property is binding on both parties.

If husband and wife agree, as is known to the third party, to separately possess their property acquired during their marriage life, the debt owed by the husband or the wife to any other person, shall be paid off out of the property separately possessed by him or her."

In 2003 the Chinese Supreme Court ruled that the types of property which could be the subject of a prenuptial agreement included a party's investment income, housing allowance, insurance, unemployment compensation, and income from intellectual property rights.




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