HKFWC in Media

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Divorce Wave: 100 Couples Wait 5 Days for Divorce After Lunar New Year, Netizens Analyze the Causes


New Year's is traditionally a time for family gatherings and reunions. However, in a surprising turn of events, it appears that this festive period has triggered a surge in divorces for some couples. On the first working day after the New Year, the Anhui Civil Affairs Bureau witnessed over a hundred couples queuing up to register for divorce, while only five couples registered for marriage. This event has garnered attention and sparked discussions among netizens. Some speculate that many couples had already contemplated divorce before the New Year but chose to wait until after the holiday season to proceed with the process.


100 Couples Pre-book Divorce, Only 5 Couples Register for Marriage

According to reports from mainland Chinese media, the Anhui Civil Affairs Bureau faced an overwhelming number of couples seeking divorce on their first day back to work after the New Year. The queue for divorce registration extended all the way to the main hall. On that day, only five couples registered for marriage, while a hundred couples had pre-booked appointments for divorce. The earliest available slot for divorce registration was five days later. The scene was chaotic and crowded.


Analysis Points to Family Pressure and Economic Factors as Contributors

This phenomenon has sparked discussions among netizens, who have offered various analyses for the post-New Year "divorce wave." Some suggest that many couples had already contemplated divorce before the New Year but chose not to disclose their intentions during the festive period. Instead, they decided to handle the proceedings after the holiday. Others speculate that family-related pressures such as expectations for childbirth, visits from relatives, and economic stress may contribute to the surge in divorces during the New Year period.


Mainland China Records 2.88 Million Divorce Cases in 2022

According to data from mainland China, the total number of marriage registrations in 2022 was 6.85 million. The majority of individuals getting married fell within the age group of 25-29, accounting for approximately 37% of the total. The next largest age group was 20-24, comprising 15.2% of the total. In contrast, there were around 2.88 million divorce cases in 2022, representing a 1.4% increase compared to previous years. The divorce rate stands at approximately 2%.


Rising Divorce Rates in Hong Kong Due to Extramarital Affairs

In Hong Kong, the divorce rate has been on the rise, with extramarital affairs being identified as the primary cause. The Hong Kong Federation of  Women's Centres, which has provided services to over 2,000 women in the past decade, commissioned a study by the Lingnan University Department of Sociology and Social Policy to analyze divorce cases in the previous year. The study found a shift in the main reasons for divorce over the past decade. Previously, "spousal failure to provide financial support" and "spousal abuse" were prominent causes, but in recent years, "self-experience of abuse" and "extramarital affairs" have become more prevalent, leading to an increased divorce rate.


Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Divorce Factors

The analysis also revealed interesting findings related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The proportion of divorces due to spouses having extramarital affairs in mainland China significantly decreased from 10.5% to 3.7% during the pandemic years. However, in Hong Kong, the proportion of divorces resulting from extramarital affairs increased from 21.8% to 23.5%. The study further noted that the number of children in a marriage influenced the reasons for divorce, with a higher likelihood of divorces involving spousal child abuse, financial support issues, and debt problems when there are more children. Remarriage, being a homemaker, being born in Hong Kong, and receiving comprehensive social security assistance were associated with a lower likelihood of divorce due to spousal failure to provide financial support.